Indian Corn or Maize is a favourite vegetable in America and now more widely grown in Europe. It is the seed heads or cobs which are eaten, and these are cut while the seeds themselves are still milky if opened up. Seed is sown singly in small pots in late April and germinated in a frame or, alternatively, seeds are sown in early May outdoors where the plants are to grow. If the latter procedure is adopted, the seeds should be sown in twos or threes 18 in. apart in rows 3 ft. apart. This is also the correct spacing for planting seedlings raised in pots. Seedlings are planted outdoors at the end of May after proper hardening off. Fairly rich soil is required and a sunny, preferably sheltered position. Water freely or mulch with grass clippings as the cobs commence to form. At this period go over plants occasionally and shake the plumes of male flowers to scatter pollen over the female ‘tassels’ which protrude from the ends of the cobs. Examine cobs for gathering when tassels wither, and remove as soon as the seeds become milky. Only sweetcorn varieties are used for cooking, others for ornament and stock feeding.
Reliable varieties are Earliking, First of All, Golden Bantam, Kelvedon Glory and John Innes Hybrid.