How to Plant Sweet Corn in Ohio


Sweet corn, named for its high sugar content, is picked when the ear is young, so the kernels are soft and easy to eat. Also known as corn on the cob, sweet corn grows well in Ohio where summers are hot and soil conditions are optimal. The soil temperature 4 to 6 inches down should be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at planting time, which would make April about the earliest time to plant sweet corn in Ohio.

Step 1

Choose a sunny, well-drained location to plant sweet corn. For optimal cross pollination, sweet corn should be planted in at least four side-by-side rows, not one long row. The rows should be about 36 inches apart with about 10 inches between each stalk of corn. The width of the garden should be at least 3 to 4 feet (where the outer rows of corn would be on the edge of the garden).

Step 2

Dig the area with a shovel or rototiller. Work in about 2 inches of organic matter if desired. In areas of Ohio where clay soil is prominent, adding organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, can improve drainage.

Step 3

Push the corn seeds 2 inches down into the soil and tap the soil to cover. Plant the seeds 10 inches apart in each row. Evenly divide the seeds in the packet to plant at least four side-by-side rows that are 36 inches apart.

Step 4

Gently water the seeds. Seedlings will appear in 7 to 14 days. Continue to water until the seedlings are about 4 inches tall after which rainfall should be sufficient to water the corn. To determine if water is needed, gently squeeze a handful of soil. If the soil does not clump, water is needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or rototiller
  • Garden rake
  • Organic matter (optional)


  • Ohio State University Extension: Sweet Corn
  • Integrated Pest Management Organization: Crop Profile for Corn (Sweet) in Ohio

Who Can Help

  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Soil Regions of Ohio
Keywords: planting sweet corn, corn cultivation, Ohio sweet corn

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.