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My sweetcorn has tastles already but they're short.

My sweetcorn is only about 70cm tall but they're starting to show signs of tastling already. They are well watered. Is it the heatwave here in London that's done this? Will they get big enough to get a few corn? Is there anything I should do?


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    They may be a short variety. It will tell you the height on the packet or did you buy the plants?

    When they flower remember to shake the plants gently so the pollen falls on the tassels.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,616

    I have only grown sweet corn once and had a problem with earwigs snipping the tassles off completely removing them from some of the corn, the main problem being that I couldn't tell when the cobs were ready to harvest.

  • NattygirlNattygirl Posts: 21
    They should grow to 200cm / over 6 ft. Should I feed them more? Feed them only 2 times so far but ground was well prepared with manure and compost.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Feeding them with a liquid feed wouldn't hurt.  The main requirement for sweetcorn is nitrogen so use a feed with a high N rating in it's NPK ratio which should be printed on the pack.  If you have any stinging nettles around, you can make a natural nettle 'tea' feed which is high in nitrogen:


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,757

    I find that sweetcorn is also very thirsty - we've had a dry year so far so regular soakings may encourage a bit of growth. 

    I'm not growing any this year, but I grew sweetcorn in the last long hot summer we had and I put the sprinkler on them for half an hour every other day - we're on very free-draining gritty loam.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • NattygirlNattygirl Posts: 21
    Ok thanks. Maybe I need to do deeper soaking then, and will look up a high N feed. Fingers crossed I get some corn. image
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    You can catch earwigs in straw-filled up-turned plastic cups on the top of canes.

    The first sign that the cobs are ripening is when the tassels turn brown and greatly diminish in size, until there is only a little tuft at the top of the cob.

    The cobs are ready to harvest when you pull back the top of the outside leaves and the seeds inside are yellow and filled with white liquid. Not watery liquid and not starchy stuff. If you're not sure get someone who is to show you.

    Only remove what you want to eat or freeze at one time as the sweetness turns to starch as soon as you pick a cob.
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