Thesweet cornit's easy tocultivateand alsodeliciousto use in the kitchen: you can prepare it boiled, roasted or baked, not to mention the most suitable varieties for the preparation of popcorn.
If you are thinking of growing popcorn or delsweet corn, know that thecultivationof this cereal is also possible in the home garden. You don't need a lot of space and spring is the perfect time to startcultivation.
Thesweet cornit's avariety"More tender" and "sweet" than the classiccorn(species Zea mays). Thesweet corndiffers fromcommon cornfor the smaller shape and for the seeds that have a much thinner integument, that's why "sweet corn kernels" are more tender!
A plant ofcommon cornit reaches a height of two meters, while the "sweet variety" sees plants about 80 cm tall.
The speciesZea maysit is "monoecious" that is, it has male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers are gathered in the "apical plume" while the female flowers are carried by a spike (what you callcorn cob). Only after fertilization, the cob develops giving rise to the seeds that you will bring to the kitchen.
Any kind ofsweet cornis useful for preparing thepop corn. So yes, with a little onesweet corn cultivationyou can prepare many recipes:
- Pop corn
- Corn kernels for use in salads (steamed or boiled)
- Roasted corn
In short, you will understand that you can use it in many recipes and that the cultivation of sweet cornit is far too underestimated: it can give great satisfaction and good harvests.
Sweet corn cultivation
It is easy tocultivate, if you live in southern Italy you can start in late spring. Know that the corn plant loves a warm-temperate climate and a sunny location.
The ideal growth temperature is around 25 ° C but it can already be grown with temperatures between 18-20 ° C.
Thecornit adapts well to different soils, as long as they are deep and very fertile: if it is true that the cultivationit is simple, it is equally true that the only real need for this plant is fertilizer.
You can get the best results with a medium with an acidic, subacid or neutral pH reaction, with a pH between 5.5 and 7.
As stated, the greatest attentions to cultivate the sweet cornyou will have to turn them to the fertility of the soil.
Before sowing or planting, work the soil well with a deep digging (it can move the first 30 cm of soil) by burying compost or mature manure (if you use manure, use 3 kg per m2, if you use compost , 1 kg per square meter will suffice).
Sow sweet corn
When is it grown? The sowing period is fromApril to June.
Those who live in the north of Italy will have to wait until June to sow the corn, while those who live in the South can bring forward the sowing to April.
There distance between plantsthat you will have to respect is:
- Rows 70-80 cm apart
- Each plant must be placed 30-40 cm from the other, on the same row
For sowing: make holes of 5 cm and plant 2-3 seeds.
When the plants have reached a length of 20 cm, do the thinning: eliminate the most fragile plants and keep a single corn plant for each hole.
How to grow corn
At agricultural consortia and garden centers you can find already well developed corn plants. In this case you will only have to run thetransplantrespecting thedistances between plantsseen previously.
Summarizing thecareto dedicate to the plant:
- Very fertile soil rich in organic matter
- Sunny position
- Mild temperature
- Abundant irrigation
- Mineral fertilization
When the plants reach a height of 30 cm, add a fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium, so you will help the harvest.
Corn takes a lot of water, so don't be frugal with watering.
Sweet corn: recipes
After about three months fromcultivationyou will have your first harvest, it is at this point that you will need to know thesweet corn recipes! What to do? Save this page as a favorite, so you can read the recipes when you need them!
After removing the outer leaves, thecorn cobsthey can be boiled. Like? Just cook the cobs in boiling, unsalted water for 3 minutes. The boiled seeds can be used in salads or you can eat corn on the cob plain or with the addition of a teaspoon of butter.
The cobs can also beto roast. Heat a cast iron grill and, when the grill is hot, cook the corn evenly, for 3-4 minutes. In this case, you will not have to remove all the leaves: the corn kernels have a thin integument, for this reason make themto roastwhen they still have leaves around them. Only when cooked will you be able to remove the leaves and eat the sweet corn cob.
Clean the cobs, remove the leaves. Wrap the cob in aluminum foil and cook in a preheated oven at 180 ° C. Add some salt before baking. Cooking times are around 30 minutes.