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Sweetcorn - Can I grow in pots?

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  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    I think the answer to your question, given you only have two pots, is it’s really not worthwhile I’m afraid. You would only get one plant per pot, they need a firm, rich soil to anchor themselves in as they are big, tall plants. You would need a good proportion of topsoil and some manure mixed in with the compost. As others have said they need to be planted in blocks for pollination, I plant a minimum of nine in a grid 1.2x1.2 metres, having grown them on in 9cm pots in my polytunnel first and planting them out when they are about 15cm high. They need plenty of water and nutrients to grow and lots of warmth to ripen the cobs in an open, sunny spot.

    If you are still really, really keen to give it a go, have the right growing conditions and are willing to change the pot mix to something with more oomph you could try hand pollination.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thanks @Nollie, I think I'll try and persevere with a couple plants just to say I've been there and done it. I think I'll have to get some sort of allotment in future for sweetcorn😅. Thanks for the helpful advice.

    Happy Gardening
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,895
    I don't think 2 plants would work because of the pollination @alexryzawlskiqBU-X4OF , unless you do it by hand as @Nollie says. 
    It's another example of right plant right place. Maybe better to wait until you have a suitable site, and grow another veg crop in your pots instead.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    Well good luck of you go ahead. It is getting a bit late to get them started but with a fair wind and a good summer you never know! I’m not expecting much from mine this year because a cold start to the season means they are far smaller plants than they would normally be. By the time they are big enough to plant out it might be too late for them to ripen. 
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Sweet corn will grow in pots (sort off) if they are large enough but I very much doubt they will produce cobs 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,021
    Many moons ago when I was involved in Twinning in Gembloux I had the dubious pleasure of interpreting a fairly scientific talk about the work of our local, internationally renowned, agri-economic research institutes for visitors from our English and Greek twinned towns.

    Amongst other topics covered - riveting stuff about tractor tyre widths and pressures for various farming activities and nozzles on spray machines - was the depth to which sweetcorn roots could grow - 10 metres - so I think with pots of 60cm deep you are on a hiding to nothing except, maybe, a couple of specimen foliage plants purely for a talking point. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SarahJGSarahJG Posts: 1
    I've just sown some of the baby corn - minipop. I am hoping that they may be more suitable for containers. I love corn and like you I just wanted to give them a try! 
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,348
    I'm growing a few of these (minipop) too this year, after my niece had great success with them last year. According to the seed supplier they don't need to be pollinated to produce cobs, which is handy. We shall see!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • FireFire Posts: 18,998
    If you do go ahead with trying regular sweetcorn in pots, give hand-pollination a go, as it might help to produce cobs. As corn is wind pollinated and would normally need a large grid of plants to achieve that, going around with a paint brush might prove to be an interesting experiment.
  • ManderMander Posts: 348
    I managed to grow about six plants in an old black recycling bin a few years ago (the kind that is about the size of a laundry basket). It wasn't a complete success as only about half of each ear developed but it did work to some extent. Perhaps if you had each plant in a separate pot but grouped them all together it would work? I kept mine up against a wall so they were fairly sheltered from the wind.
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