Sweetcorn – Sweet Nugget F1
Sweetcorn – Sweet Nugget F1 produces super-sweet sweetcorn. Produces very long, delicious cobs. A very early variety so performs well under cooler conditions.
April to May
Sow individual seeds into small pots (7cm) or large modules and keep in a warm place. Pot on into a 10cm pot when ready. Plant out in late May-June after hardening off. Initial protection with a cloche is beneficial.
Between plants: 45cm
Between plants in the row: 45cm
Approx. seed count: 20
Latin name: Zea mays
There is absolutely no comparison in eating a freshly harvested sweetcorn to a shop bought one. The reason for this is that once the cob has been harvested the sugar is steadily converted into starch. A tunnel or greenhouse will provide ideal growing conditions for this delicious vegetable. Unfortunately it is a very low yielding plant, producing only two cobs per plant. Commercially it would be foolish to produce sweetcorn in a tunnel but for the hobby gardener and hobby gourmet there are few experiences more memorable than growing and eating your own sweetcorn.
Soil and site
Sweetcorn requires a fertile, free draining, but moisture retentive soil. A generous application of well-rotted compost is essential. Ensure that the growing crop is not shaded by another tall vegetable such as tomatoes or cucumbers.
You can sow individual seeds in small pots (7cm) about 2.5cm deep in mid April. The pots should be placed on a heating bench at 18-20ºC. About five weeks later they can be planted.
Between plants: 45cm
Between rows: 45cm
Sweetcorn is the only vegetable in the Graminae family and there is no risk of any soil-borne pest or disease affecting it. So really you can plant it wherever it suits you.
Sweetcorn should be planted in rectangular blocks as opposed to single lines. This will ensure successful pollination. The male flowers are on top of the plant and the female flowers are the tassels at the end of the cobs. Each little silky strand has to receive a pollen grain to develop a kernel. You may have noticed some kernels missing from a cob. They didn’t get pollinated. In a tunnel or greenhouse where there is no wind you have to do the job of pollination. When the pollen is ready you have to shake the plants every day so that the pollen lands on the tassels.
In late summer you should check regularly to see if the tassels at the end of the cobs wither and turn brown. When this happens double check if the cob is ripe by carefully peeling off part of the sheath. You then squeeze a kernel and if a milky juice comes out it’s ready to harvest. If it is clear liquid you have to wait a bit longer.
Generally sweetcorn grows very healthy in a tunnel and the only problem you may encounter is poor pollination.
There is a staggering range of sweetcorn available ranging from the traditional types to the sweet and super sweet varieties
Black Aztec (kernels are blue black, can be eaten fresh or dried)
Golden Bantam (very good quality, sweet flavour)
Sweet Nugget F1 (excellent yield of long, uniform cobs)
Swift F1 (one of the best flavoured sweetcorn, exceptionally sweet and succulent kernels)