Food , Corn , Corn on the cob , Vegetables , Growing Guide , How to grow Corn.
Sweet corn is an annual with yellow, white, and bi-colored ears. A long, frost-free growing season is necessary. Here’s how to plant, grow, and harvest corn in your garden.
Sweet corn is wind-pollinated, so it should be planted in blocks, rather than in single rows. Early, mid, and late-season varieties extend the harvest. If you miss the optimal harvest time, corn will go downhill fast, as sugars convert to starch.
Corn plants are picky about their soil. Work in aged manure or compost the fall before planting and let over winter in the soil.
Starting corn seeds indoors is not recommended.
Plant seeds outdoors two weeks after the last spring frost date.
Make sure soil temperature is above 60 degrees F for successful germination. (Up to 65 for super sweet varieties.) In colder zones, the ground can be warmed by a black plastic cover if necessary. Plant seeds through holes.
Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Rows 30 to 36 inches apart.
For sufficient pollination, plan your plot right. Don’t plant two long rows, rather, plant corn blocks of at least four rows.
You may choose to fertilize at planting time; corn is meant to grow rapidly. If you are confident that the soil is adequate, this can be skipped.
Water well at planting time.
When your plants are 3 to 4 inches tall, thin them so they are 8 to 12 inches apart.
Be careful not to damage the roots when weeding.
Soil must be well drained and able to keep consistent moisture.
In dry conditions, be sure to keep corn well watered due to its shallow roots. Water at a rate of 5 gallons per sq yard. Mulch helps reduce evaporation.
Corn plants are susceptible to several common garden pests:
Spotted Cucumber Beetles
Harvest when tassels begin to turn brown and cobs start to swell. Kernels should be full and milky.
Pull ears downward and twist to take off stalk.
Sweet corn varieties lose their sweetness soon after harvesting.
Prepare for eating or preserving immediately after picking.
Sweet corn freezes well, especially if removed from ears before freezing. Learn how to properly freeze corn.
Corn kernels can also be harvested for other purposes, like corn-filled therapy packs.