For the first time in 28 years since the growth of sweet corn, I have seen such a field after sowing. This can be explained by two reasons.
First, when sowing with the discrete sowing method, the seeds reach a depth of about 6 - 7 cm. On the other hand, when sowing with the Earthway hand drill, they cannot be worked deeper than 4 - 5 cm.
Secondly, the tractor cultivated the soil like for potatoes and, of course, it was low in moisture and as a result the June 5 sowing was very thin. By June 28, the soil had already settled and it rained after sowing. Therefore, the volume sprouted well.
CONCLUSION: Avoid corn sown in the furrows of potato furrows, corn, unlike potatoes, loves a solid "bed".
The cultivation of sweet corn isn’t complicated. It is possible to cultivate it in smaller or larger areas all over Latvia. It can be cultivated for both – own consumption and to be sold. We would rather suggest not to plant larger area than ½ ha in the first year, because of possible problems when selling them.
We would also suggest not to plant only 10 - 20 seeds (the size of typical imported seeds package). In this case, first of all, you will not be able to try most of the sweet corn meal recipes and secondly, there is a possibility that you will not be able to gather anything at ripe, because of insufficient attention.
For the needs of sweet corn cultivation, we suggest from wind protected southern declinity areas, free of strandworms. It is especially vital for Vidzeme with more likely possible spring and fall frost. It is the best to use claysand or sandclay soils with neutral soil reaction of pH 6 - 7.
In the previous year, it is desirable to spray weedy fields with Roundap type preparations.
For sweet corn, the selected soil should be plowed in autumn, with manure at the same time. If no manure is available, digestate or biohumus 5 - 6 m3/ha can be incorporated into the soil in the spring.
In the spring the soil must be plained as early as possible. After plaining, it is neccessary to add 600-800kg of full-fertilizer per ha.(N:P:K:Micro) with simmilar N, P and K relations. Mineral-fertilizer must be furrowed down to 10cm deep immidiately.
After planting, when sweet corn plant reaches 3-5 leave level, it is suggested to fertilize the soil with amonium salpetre in 200-300 kg/ha.
It is possible to cultivate the sweet corn in both ways – with plants or by seeding it straight in the field. The plants of sweet corn can resist -2 to -30C on soil. At colder frost it is suggested to cover the field with agrofilm.
In Liepaja, to my mind, the first volume in open field could be at 15th – 20th of April. In souther Zemgale and Latgale the earliest volume could take place around 1st of May, but in Vidzeme highlands and northern Vidzeme, not earlier than 15th of May.
We have been sowing in the open field from May 1 to June 28. However, we do not recommend sowing after Midsummer.
For cultivation from plant we suggest to seed in containers with 2 seeds of each. It is the safeguard, that neither container will be empty and it will be possible to re-plant earlier. Cultivating from seedlings, it is to be considered, that you can’t let the plants to overgrow, because afterwards the sweet corns will ripe imcompletely. For the germinated pairs, it is suggested to re-pant them with 30-45cm gap. The gap between rows should be 70cm (the width of patato drill). Ofcourse, it is possible to seed in boxes, but then the replantation must take place ever ealier, because the roots of sweet corn tend to twist with each other.
To protect the plants from root rot and wireworms, we recommend using one of the grain picklers for pickling.
The most convenient seeding of sweet corn is with special hand-held seeding machine "Earthway", with inclusive discs of sweet corn. With the help of the machine one person can seed up to ½ ha of previously prepared field. It requires 25-30 kg of our selected seeds per 1ha. The depth of seeding is 4-5cm. The germination of seeds doesn’t decrease within 2 year period, therefore the leftovers can be used in the next year. The gap between rows is 70cm. This is the minimum range for convenient gathering of riped cobs. Sowings should be taken care of immediately after sowing. After thinning, the distance between plants 15 - 25 cm. The average number of plants is 6 - 7 per 1 m2. The rows can be safely cultivated until the plants reach a height of 15 - 20 cm. If the field is not heavily weeded, double hoeing is sufficient. This can be avoided by using corn herbicides.
It is suggested to remove the sub-branches, that grow from roots, because they reduce the moisture and feed material in the soil, as well as produces late retarded cobs.
On average one plants gives rather 1 than 2 cobs. At favorable weather, from 1000 square meters it is possible to gather up to 0,3-0,5 t of cobs.
Two weeks after mass-blossoming of sweet corn, the ends of the cobs must be opened cautiously, if the hair have started to get brown. If the corns are yellow, it is possible to take the first degustation. Opened cobs must be closed cautiously.
Depending on weahter after a week or two, the rows of sweet corn must be reinspected. The first cobs ripe on start of august, but the rest of ripe can be enjoyed until the start of october.
You can’t let the sweet corn to over-ripes. If the corns in cobs have got wrinkly and the are gaps between them, then these corns are only good for feed of cattle. Comparing to imported seeds, ours have longer period of riping.
The most convenient weather for sweet corn is hot, but not too dry summer. In those seasons like 2002, there was an insufficient amount of moisture for the sweet corn and the ripe, seeded in 7th – 8th of June, was less than for those who were seeded in 4th of may.
If there are too many strandworms and the seeds are etched with insecticides, then large amount of damage to the field is sustained by crows.
If it rains without a break during the blossoming, then cobs are pollen insufficently and got empty ends.
The forsts of fall have double-side effect, on one hand the growth of sweet corn stops, but on the other hand it reserves longer at cool temperatur.