In our journey to try out various crops. And when the attempt made is to do so soilless – it’s a definite joy!
This time we attempted to grow baby corn in our Research Centre. Needless to say, the journey has been exciting and fruitful and hence this happy post sharing the details of the same!
Baby corn is an amazing vegetable. It has its own demand and value in the market. It is also one of those considered in the exotic vegetable pool!
Baby corn is the normal maize that is harvested at earlier stages and thus used as a ‘vegetable’. This light yellow colored immature corn is known and called by many names viz., young corn, sweet corn, candle corn, mini corn etc. Besides its characteristic flavour and taste, it contains similar nutritional values as found in tomatoes, cabbage, or carrots.
The journey of growing this sweet vegetable started with sowing seed in cocopeat in a pot. Grow bags or any large root growing containers can also be used for growing this crop.
For corn especially,
- It is ideal to sow the seeds directly into the medium. We used cocopeat; instead of raising seedlings and transplanting them.
The root system of this plant is very delicate and unless it is handled with extreme care and caution – attempting to transplant this may result in loss of the plant.
For those who would like to grow the same in a soil media please ensure that the ph of the soil is maintained at a neutral pH range of 6-7.
- Before sowing the seed make sure that the selection of pots is right.
This plant needs a pot with a wide mouth and a depth of at least 2 feet. As mentioned earlier, since the root system is very delicate transplanting is not advisable!!
The seeds germinated within a week. And from then on we waited with baited breath to see the transformation and growth of this plant!
Plants started growing well. For nutrition, we provided the plants – CG Symphony, our own nutrient solution.We initially started with a dosage of 2 ml of Greens + 2ml of Nutes per litre of water. This concentration was gradually increased upto 4ml (Geens 4ml +Nutes 4 ml) and an addition of Blooms at flowering stage ( which was around the 5th to 6th week).
Just like many other plants, these also need enough sunlight and optimum temperature for their proper growth. Any fluctuation in climate will impact on plant growth which will delay in getting corns to harvest. We have had to face really fluctuating temperatures and climates in Bengaluru and yet we were able to harvest corn within 6-8 weeks.
When will we know the corns are ready to harvest??
- Ideally one can harvest healthy corn within after 8-9 weeks of planting.
We allowed a few of our plants to grow beyond the baby corn stage and they are now maturing into maize or corn.
Some others were harvested earlier as baby corn.
Fortunately for us, we did not have to fight any disease or pests for this crop.
Initially, we did notice some micronutrient deficiency in the plants. This was then eliminated by using our
CG Nutes solution.
We hope this encourages you to add this vegetable to your growing collection too!
Sushma completed her B. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Hiriyur and M. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Bengaluru. She is an avid gardener with expertise across soil based and soilless gardening techniques using substrates.