How To Grow Sweet Corn


Ears of corn straight from the garden taste much sweeter than the ones found in grocery stores. Here are some tips on how to grow your own.

Find a rectangular bed in your garden about four by twelve feet square. Corn is pollinated by the wind blowing the pollen off of the tassels and down onto the developing ears of corn on the plants next to them. Plant 4 rows spaced about 30 to 36 inches apart.

The soil should drain well and have a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.

Plant corn in full sun and where the plants will receive 8 hours of sunlight each day.

Plant in May or even until June when the soil temperature is about 60 degrees. Corn seeds planted in cold wet soil will rot and not germinate.

Prepare the bed with lots of compost or aged cow manure. Corn likes a very fertile soil.

Plant the seeds about one-half to one inch deep. Plant the seeds about 3 to 4 inches apart and then thin them to one foot. Corn doesn't like to be transplanted so to make sure there are enough plants for each row it's best to plant more seeds.

Water the seeds and keep the bed wet until the seeds sprout.

Then water with about an inch weekly. Corn has long taproots so can tolerate a lot of hot temperatures but still needs regular moisture to produce tassels and healthy ears of corn.

Control weeds by hoeing often.

Fertilize the corn plants when they are 12 to 18 inches tall.

Corn will usually produce one to two ears.

As soon as the ears have a filled with kernels it's ready to harvest. About 3 weeks after the silk appears the ears will be ready to harvest. The silk will be dried and dark brown.

Pick early in the morning. Store on ice or in a refrigerator. The longer corn sets after being harvested the more starch there will be in the kernels.

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Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.
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