Growing Sweetcorn can be hard in a small kitchen garden but if you want a fun project that kids will love growing Strawberry Popcorn is the way to go. Below I am going to tell you how to start Growing your own popcorn in your backyard.
Growing your own popcorn
Strawberry popcorn is a variety of Sweetcorn which is a member of the Zea family. Its botanical name is Zea mays var. saccharata ‘Strawberry’. Strawberry is an heirloom variety which grows 5ft tall and produces small ruby red ears of corn. Perfect for decorating or popping.
You can buy your Strawberry Popcorn here
When to sow your Popcorn
“Strawberry Popcorn” needs warm soil and mild air temperatures for germination. Here in Ireland, you can get a jump on the season by starting the heirloom popcorn indoors four to six weeks indoors before transplanting sturdy seedlings into the garden in May.
Because both corn seeds and the seedlings are larger than those of other vegetables, starting them in individual bio-degradable pots is best. The pots decompose in the garden soil, which eliminates the possibility of disturbing fragile root systems when setting strawberry corn into the ground.
Planting them out
Only do this when the threat of frost has passed and spend a week acclimatizing them by bringing them out and bringing them in if it is cold at night.
Selecting a site with good drainage, full sunshine, and rich in nutrients. A circle or block formation works better for pollination than a row unless you are planting several rows. Space the seedlings 6 inches apart. We planted them 4 x 4 and this seemed to work best.
Strawberry Sweet corn is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow – great for beginner gardeners!
Harvesting your Popcorn
Expected harvest is about mid-September allowing them to dry as much as possible on the stalk. This is possibly the best popcorn I have ever eaten. The kernels pop into a small bright white ‘popcorn’. The flavour and texture are exceptional and an experience that you will never get from store-bought popcorn. It’s a unique and exciting popcorn, that kids will love to pop.
I have made you a quick grow guide to Strawberry popcorn which you can download by clicking the image below
Making your Popcorn
The best way to pop your corn is on the stove top with a pot, a lid and some olive oil.
Set the heat to high, and drizzle in a tablespoon or two of olive oil into a pot. Drop in a few kernels and wait until they’re sizzling before adding a few handfuls of corn.
- For the smaller sized kernels of strawberry popcorn more is the rule.
- Gently agitate the pot to keep the kernels from burning until you see one or two of the kernels pop.
- Then quickly place the lid on to prevent hot oil and your corn escaping.
- Keep agitating the pot and listen for the popping.
- As soon as the popping starts to slowly turn off the heat and a few moments later the popping will have almost stopped.
- Pull from the heat and immediately pour into a bowl while the last few kernels explode.
- Timing is critical if your a little early you will have more unpopped kernels, and if you are little too late it may start to burn.
- Add a few pinches of real sea salt, the grey or pink kind, and enjoy.
If you enjoyed this project and want to grow more things try theses
- Grow Runner Beans in your garden
- Growing veggies in small spaces
- Growing Courgettes – the How and the Why?
- Start Growing Cauliflowers in the Back garden
Or sign up and Get your Free Garden Printables that help you plan out your garden
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