Growing Corn In Tropical Weather

growing corn in tropical weather

Vegetable gardeners around Malaysia, who have been cultivating corn seeds for thousands of years, grow corn because of the amazingly sweet taste of fresh-picked ears. 

There are two kinds of corn: tropical and temperate. The tropical, super sweet corn is perfect for places like Malaysia. 

Because corn is a big vegetable (some varieties can grow to 2 meters tall or more), it needs a lot of space to grow. Also, plants like these need plenty of moisture and fertilisers to keep them growing. 

Corn is a warm-season annual that is best planted after the soil temperature reaches 15° Celsius. Harvest, which depends upon the amount of heat during the growing season and the variety of corn, and can take from 60 to 100 days. 

The best air temperature to grow corn is between 15° to 32° Celsius. 

It is essential to understand that corn is wind-pollinated, so it needs to be thickly planted to achieve good pollination. Please note that weather patterns have an impact on the corn crop – too much wind, heavy rain or arid weather will prevent pollination.   

Corn seeds must have enough water to guarantee full kernel growth.

Planting

As mentioned, corn needs warm weather to grow. Keep in mind that it doesn’t transplant well, so it is not wise to start corn indoors. If you want to extend your harvest, sow every 2 weeks for 6 weeks. Keep different corn cultivators apart to prevent cross-pollination. 

Choose a sunny location to grow corn and make sure it is wind-protected. Ensure the soil is rich and fertile, especially on nitrogen, since it is a heavy feeder. 

For early planting, sow seeds only 2.50 centimeters deep; in Malaysia, you can plant them up to 5 centimeters deep. The average germination rate is about 75 per cent for sweet corn, so it is an excellent idea to plant 3 corn seeds together every 15 to 40 centimeters.

Keep in mind that corn seeds must germinate in 7 to 10 days. Make sure to thin to 1 plant every 40 centimeters. Be careful not to disturb remaining plants and remove unwanted seedlings by cutting them off at the soil level.

Corn corp germinating in tropical weather

Watering and Fertilising

Corn plants are large and fast-growing vegetables and need regular feeding and watering. Make sure to increase the watering as the crop grows. 

Fertilise the crop once per week. Doing this will encourage more roots to grow, helping plants in strong winds and increasing valuable moisture and nutrients. 

Harvesting

You can harvest cobs about 3 weeks after flowering begins. A good sign of maturity is when the top of the cobs have turned brown. An excellent idea is to peel back some of the husks and pierce a single kernel with your thumbnail; it should discharge a milky liquid. If it doesn’t, more time is needed.  

Make sure to check cobs daily. 

To remove cobs from plants, twist them with a sharp move downward. Keep in mind that most plants will give you two or more cobs. 

You can store cobs in the fridge for a week or so.

Care

The best companion plants for corn are potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash. Never plant it with berries or pole beans. 

It is essential to weed corn as often as needed if you wish to stop the competition between water and nutrients. Keep in mind that corn is shallow-rooted, so stay away from deep cultivation. 

If you want to protect the plant from birds you can cover ears with paper bags after pollination. Remember that weak kernel growth can be caused by poor pollination, overcrowding, or a potassium deficiency in the soil.

growing corn in tropical weather

The Bottom Line

Corn is easy to grow as all it needs are warm soil, water, and wind protection. Keep in mind that it can be attacked by cutworms, wireworms, flea beetles, corn earworms, and corn borers. So make sure to protect your plants from pests. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us. 

Happy planting!

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