SWEETCORN tastes so much sweeter when homegrown. This is because the sugars start turning to starch the moment the cob is picked. Thus, freshly picked and dropped into already boiling water is the ideal, and no supermarket or roadside stall can possibly compete. However, many people still don’t grow sweetcorn because they think it is too difficult.
Well, it once was. However, breeding has made it reliable in most regions (although it’s still risky in cold, shorter-season areas). Even so, it’s so good that it’s worth the risk.
However, it’s not worth it if you follow the advice to sow in pots indoors, then plant them out. This almost guarantees poorer performance compared to sowing in situ, as the plants invariably get checked by root disturbance, no matter how careful you are.
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Quick-growing annuals to sow now
There is still time in late spring to sow quick-growing hardy and half-hardy annuals straight to the soil, says Anne Swithinbank, as she describes the best ones to grow
Keeping it sweet
Bob explains why now is the best time to sow sweetcorn
Create a wildlife patch
Give a little space to nature’s heroes, says Ruth
Sneezeweeds are tough perennials, and now is the time to plant them to attract wildlife and fill borders with warm, fiery colour in late summer and autumn, says Hazel Sillver
Say hello to hostas
After disappointments, Ruth gives hostas another chance
Bring me sunshine!
Sow the taste of citrus with cosmos ‘Polidor’, says Ruth
Growing citrus plants
Whether you grow luscious lemons or ornate oranges, Steve and Val Bradley explain how to keep your potted citrus plants in tip-top condition throughout the year
Val looks at the pros and cons of gardening partnerships
Start thinking about cuttings
Propagation is so easy and satisfying, says Ruth
This week... lilacs
With their beautiful scented flowers, lilacs are an easy-to-grow garden classic
RUPERT HOLMES REPORTS ON INNOVATIVE CRUISERS AND THE LATEST FOILERS
MASTER PAINTERS OF THE WORLD
T-track is a versatile product that has many great uses around the shop.
Easy as 1, 2, 3 !
Brighten up the garden with these thrifty makes – turn old tins into pretty pots and pebbles into plant markers...
Decorate your door for spring with our pretty floral wreath
A magical MEADOW
All you need is a sunny spot in the garden to create a heavenly patch of pasture
Make a mushroom lasagne
A great dish for sharing with friends, just add a big salad and wine on the side
Let’s celebrate spring with colourful containers
Back to basics
Get a handle on the fundamentals and you can ensure your garden will flourish and be easier to maintain
In this second instalment of her new series, Stephanie Hafferty gets to work in her new garden, creating no-dig beds, setting up her compost bins and mulching