Sweet Corn

Posted on

I’ve never been real big about corn. In Bahrain the only thing we get is the frozen kind and as for “fresh”, well, the closest is the KFC supplied ears! But after reading about how luscious they can be cut fresh from the stalk and boiled in this post in the Backyard Gardening Blog I was determined to get some seeds and plant try my luck with them in the vegetable patch. I know it is quite crowded there at the moment, but a space exists in front of the 2nd row of tomatos, so why not?

The Vegetable Patch

I know that Al-Khair nursery on the Budaiya Highway have good quality seeds and apart from Jassim Garden Centre, they have the most variety of vegetable seeds there at reasonable price, so stopping there at some point was a done deal. Imagine my surprise then when I found out that they have done most of the world for me! There, in one of their beds sat in a corner were about 25 or so pots with young corn seedlings offered for sale! Brilliant. That saves me a lot of time. I selected 5 and planted them 2 feet apart in their chosen place. What is left now is just to wait for them to grow ears and the water will be boiled in preparation to enjoying freshly cut corn on the cob.

  • Publia Padena
    13 January 2008

    Mahmood, I am afraid your plan for the corn isn’t going to work so well because you need more than one row for proper pollination. Burpee suggests 4 rows (http://www.burpee.com/product/vegetables/corn/corn+northern+xtra-sweet+hybrid+-+1+pkt.+(200+seeds).do) but two or 2 rows might also be okay. Corn sprouts so well, no need to buy the little plants. I would say you might as well just use what you have on hand, just move the plants to make a shorter row and 2 or more rows. I write from Illinois where we have miles and miles of corn. You will like it; it tastes nothing like the frozen stuff from KFC.

  • Mahmood
    13 January 2008

    Thanks very much for the advice. Much appreciated. I’ll give it a go and see what happens. I actually did maybe the reverse of what you suggest in the weekend as I felt that I planted the stalks too close to each other. I now moved a couple so that the gap between them is about 3 feet… there is much to learn still!

  • M
    13 January 2008

    I always found corn hard to grow unless you have a fairly large garden area because of the space it takes up in the garden. I did the two row deal one year and only got very few ears that never fully developed. When I did the four rows I had much better luck, but the bugs really got to the corn and made it not worth the effort. Lucky for me, we also grow alot of corn here in New England, so there is always fresh local corn at the market and small farm stands. Good luck with yours, Mahmood.

  • Mahmood
    13 January 2008

    Well, at worst, it’ll be fun watching them grow! (and gain from the experience)

  • Laurie
    22 January 2008

    You can grow corn in a small space if the plants are very close together. Measure out adjacent squares about 1 ft x 1 ft (30 cm x 30 cm) and put four plants in each square. Make sure that the squares are next to each other, with no rows in between. Corn likes to be crowded; it won’t pollinate if it’s too far apart. It’s also a heavy feeder, likes lots of sun, no such thing as too much, and plenty of water.

    An area of 60 cm x 60 cm should hold 16 plants. Start them from seed, they germinate quickly, and the seedlings don’t transplant well.

    Good luck! There are few things tastier than fresh sweet corn. So much so that I don’t eat it if it’s not fresh, it’s just such a disappointment.

  • Mahmood
    23 January 2008

    Thanks very much Laurie. I’ll have to get some more plants and try my luck. You will hear of my efforts with them for sure!