Common Name(s): Sweet Corn
Hardiness Zones for Growing Corn:
Exposure for Corn Plants:
Days to Harvest:
Suggested Corn Varieties:
- 'Early Sunglow': Early and sweet. Good for shorter seasons and small gardens.
- 'Silver Queen' - Another early producer with pale white kernels and very disease resistant. The new 'Silver Princess" is even earlier.
- 'Golden Bantam' - An open pollinated heirloom variety, often called the original sweet corn.
- 'Tuxedo: - One of the newer 'supersweet' varieties with extra long ears.
Growing Tips - How to Grow Corn:
Note to Seed Savers: Wind pollination also results in easy cross-pollination, so keep different types of corn separated by at least 25 feet or plant varieties that mature at different times.
Soil for Growing Corn: The soil should be loose, with a neutral pH (6.0 - 7.0). Heavy soils inhibit the long tap roots. The shallow roots you will see on the soil surface are predominantly there to anchor the tall plants.
Sweet corn is a long season crop. To extend the harvest, plant varieties that mature at different rates. You can expect one to two ears of corn per plant.
Growing Corn:Fertilizer & Feeding: Corn is a heavy feeder, requiring rich soil. Nitrogen is especially important, since corn is basically a grass. The Native American practice of burying a fish head with the corn seeds was a practical means of supplementing nitrogen. An inch or two of compost or rotted manure will also work, as will feeding with fish emulsion Watering: Water regularly, especially if you notice the leaves curling and when the cobs begin to swell. Apply nitrogen fertilizer once the plants are about 8 inches tall and again when they start producing tassels. Keep the area free of weeds that will compete for food and water.
Pests & ProblemsAnimals will be the biggest pest problem. The native American method of planting squash under corn plants helps deter some animals, because they don't like stepping on the prickly squash leaves. But it also makes it difficult to harvest.
Corn borers can be kept in check with Bt and by destroying the stalks at the end of the season. Flea beetles will spread bacterial wilt. Combat that by planting resistant varieties. Be on the look out for a grayish black fungus called smut. Remove and destroy while young, before the mass bursts and sends the spores everywhere.