How to Grow Corn

Corn is a tender plant that's easily damaged by cold weather. Sow it or put out transplants only after the soil has warmed.

Font
  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends

x

All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.

Refresh

Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail

Success!

A link to %this page% was e-mailed

Fresh Sweet Corn on the CobEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: mid- to late spring
At Their Best: late summer
Time to Complete: a few hours over several weeks

Materials Needed:

  • corn seeds
  • compost
  • small pots for sowing
  • seed labels
  • string
  • ruler

How to Sow

Corn will be ready for planting about six weeks after sowing indoors in pots. Clear all weeds from the soil and dig it over thoroughly. Plant out in square blocks — which aids pollination — spacing plants 14 inches apart. You can also sow direct from late spring onward, but sow two seeds per spot in case one of them fails to grow.

Plant Corn in Square BlocksEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Test for Ripeness

Once the tassels turn brown, test regularly for ripeness. Press a nail into a kernel — if a milky liquid comes out, it's ready; if watery, it's under-ripe; but if doughy, the corn has passed its best.

Testing Corn for RipenessEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Harvesting the Cobs

Pick the cobs by twisting them off, only when you're ready to cook them; their natural sugars quickly turn starchy once picked. Corn is delicious wrapped in foil and grilled on a barbecue.

Picking Corn CobsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
« Previous12

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

We Recommend...

How to Grow Rhubarb

How to Grow Rhubarb

Cooked rhubarb can be a delicous addition to apple pie. Once established, this long-lived perennial looks after itself year...

How to Grow Strawberries

How to Grow Strawberries

Learn about the various types of strawberries and how to grow them on your own.

How to Grow Herbs to the Peak of Flavor

How to Grow Herbs to the Peak of Flavor

Here's how to make sure your plants are packed with the essential oils that will take your cooking to the next level.

(4 photos)
Advertisement

HGTV Outdoors Newsletter

Find out how to make the most of patios, decks and all your outdoor areas, plus tips from master gardeners for beautiful flower beds and bountiful vegetable gardens.