Monday, August 30, 2010

Growing sweetcorn

I'm so enamoured with the fresh sweetcorn sold at our market, I treat myself to several ears every weekend. The freshly harvested corn, with white and pale yellow kernels, tastes extremely sweet and succulent simply steamed or baked in foil, there is no need to add any butter or seasoning.

Since I like sweetcorn so much, I'm trying to grow the 'sweet jean' variety in my patio. Corn needs plenty of space to grow well, so I filled a deep styrofoam box with compost and top soil and sowed a dozen kernels.

Unfortunately, the newly germinated seedlings were quickly devoured by snails in the night. All that were left were chewed up stubs. The leaves must be so sweet and delicious! I have just sown a second batch (below) and hope these will grow up well. I must find a way to outwit the snails without killing them. One idea is to poke toothpicks to form a sharp barrier.

For some reason, the other 2 kernels that I sowed in a smaller pot were left untouched. These are growing well. I may have to transfer them to a large container soon.

This (below photo) is what happens when I get lazy. I didn't bother to transplant these lady's finger seedlings into a larger pot and look at how tall and lanky they have grown. I'll be lucky if they give me miniature fruits.


  1. Such a creative way of planting fruits/ vege!
    I have read somewhere that salt / soda bicarbonate works well on snail. Just put it around the box!

  2. malar - i have used salt in the past but in this case, it could be hard because it might go into the soil when it rains.

  3. May be you can put around(below) on the ground. So the snail can't even reach the box!

  4. I like sweetcorn too. If the snails are big, you can catch them with your hands. But I really hate those tiny ones. I read from the internet that setting shallow traps with beer help to drown them. By the way, your lady's finger may need more space to grow. They do grow quite tall and big.

  5. Hi Ting, you may want to try placing some broken egg shells on the soil near your seedlings. It seems like snails do not like to tread on those sharp egg shells.

    Good luck with those 2 corn seedlings. It amazes me that corns can be planted in containers too. Looking forward to see the development of your corns.