Advice on growing corn for a beginner?

Maize (corn)   

I am desperate to try my hand at growing corn this summer. All of the advice I can find about growing it seems quite complicated. What is the easiest method for a beginner like me. Are some varieties easier to grow than others? What is the minimum space that I need to grow it? Thanks in advance. Ellie.

Posted by: Ellie (1 point) Ellie
Posted: February 7, 2013


Despite your reservations, be assured that corn is actually quite easy to grow. Corn kernels are commonly directly seeded into the garden soil but if you are very keen, you can start them indoors and transplant to the garden. Corn does not like being disturbed however and you should be very careful with the roots if you choose to go this route. Here are some things to consider before sowing seeds:

- Corn should not be planted until soil temperatures are above 55-60 F (depending on variety)
- Soil should be fertile and well draining as corn grows fast and will quickly exhaust nutrients
- You should fertilize the plants every week or two with a nitrogen rich fertilizer
- Corn is wind pollinated and it should be planted in blocks aid pollination
- If you only want to plant 1 or 2 rows you will have to hand pollinate the plants
- Allow at least 25 ft between blocks of different corn varieties to prevent cross pollination

Choose a sunny site in your garden where the corn will be protected from wind. Prepare the soil by spreading compost or manure where you intend to sow the seed. After seedling emerge, you should continue to fertilize the plants every 7-14 days to prevent the plants exhausting nutrients in the soil. You should do this until the corn produces a tassel. The tassel is the male sexual organ and it produces the pollen. The female sexual organs are the silks. Each silk produces one kernel and requires pollination by the pollen released by the tassel. The corn should be ready to harvest around 20 days after the first silk strands are produced, when the silks have turned brown and the head is firm to the touch.

Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: February 7, 2013

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