How to grow... Sweetcorn

Rocket Growing Guides


Nothing compares to your own home grown, freshly picked corn-on-the-cob. One mouthful and you’ll see just how different it tastes to any sweetcorn you buy in the shops – so much sweeter and juicier. And best of all, they are virtually pest free so you shouldn’t have any trouble growing them.

  • Planting Tips
  • Growing advice
  • Chef's Corner

The right site

Choose well drained soil in a sunny, sheltered site for the best results.

Can be grown in....

Sweetcorn need a little space and are best grown in raised beds or an allotment.

How far apart?

The key to growing sweetcorn is to plant them in blocks rather than rows – this allows for better cross-pollination, which means you’re more likely to get a good crop (if they don’t get pollinated, the kernels won’t swell). Allow 35-45cm between plants in 3×3 formation (or 4×4 etc)

Looking after your plants....

Sweetcorn doesn’t need a huge amount of effort to grow, but there are a few little things that you should consider to give them a better chance of producing big, juicy cobs!


Earth up

Earth them up and firm the area around the base of the plants to help provide stability from winds.


Protect from frost

You need to wait until the last risk of frost before planting your sweet corns outside – until then, grow them in pots under glass. If in doubt, protect with fleece or cloche.


Weed regularly

Keep the area weed free to give your sweetcorn the best chance.


Watering them

Water well while the sweetcorn plants are getting established. Thereafter they will be fairly self-sufficient, except during dry spells when they’ll need a top up.

Storage Tips

Sweetcorn doesn’t store very well – it’s best to pick what you want to eat just before you cook it. They will last in the fridge for a few days, but it changes the texture and flavour for the worse…

Ways to cook

Surely the best way of serving sweetcorn is barbecued straight away when you pick them, with plenty of butter, and a pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper. It’s one of the highlights of late summer!