How to Plant & Sow Corn Seeds in Pellets


Most of the world refers to corn (Zea mays) as maize, according to the University of Illinois Extension. The silk that appears at the top of corn ears is the female part of the flower. Pollen travels down the silk to pollinate the corn. Planting corn closely together encourages pollination and a larger yield. One way to successfully boost corn production is to sow corn in pellets indoors. Larger seedlings are less susceptible to grazing wildlife once transplanted outdoors.

Step 1

Place the appropriate number of pellets side-by-side in one or two baking pans. Seedlings need to be spaced 1 foot apart when transferred outdoors. Planting rows are typically 10 feet. One row of corn requires 10 pellets.

Step 2

Pour 2 cups of hot water into the bottom of the baking sheet. Wait five minutes. Repeat. Wait another five minutes. The pellets should swell as the potting medium absorbs the water. Repeat until the pellets swell to full size.

Step 3

Place one corn seed in each swollen pellet. Use your pointer finger to push the corn seed 1 inch into the pellet. Pinch the top of the pellet closed to cover the seed.

Step 4

Wrap the pan with plastic wrap. Poke approximately 2 dozen holes in the top of the plastic wrap with a toothpick to provide air circulation.

Step 5

Place the baking dish in a room that is between 60 to 75 degrees F with some light.

Step 6

Remove the plastic wrap when the corn seedlings emerge, typically 5 to 10 days after placing the seeds in the pellets.

Step 7

Place the baking sheet outside daily in a sunny location when the corn seedlings are 2 inches tall. Bring the pellets inside around dusk. Repeat this step for 7 days. Water when the pellets become dry.

Step 8

Prepare the garden area for the corn by tilling and adding 10-10-10 granular fertilizer. Make 10-foot-long rows. Dig 3- by 3-inch holes with a garden trowel spaced 1 foot apart. Dig an equivalent number of holes to the number of pellets with corn seedlings.

Step 9

Lift a pellet containing the growing corn seedling from the baking dish. Set the pellet inside the hole. Cover the pellet and fill the hole with organic potting soil. Tap the potting soil with your hand to firm around the corn seedling. Add an additional 1/2 inch of potting soil around the base of the corn seedling. Repeat with each pellet and hole.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over-water the pellets or mold will set in around the pellets and the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Corn seed
  • Pellets
  • Large baking pan
  • Plastic wrap
  • Toothpick
  • Garden till
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Garden trowel
  • Organic potting soil


  • National Gardening Association: Corn Planting Variations
  • Home Grown: Corn

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension Teacher's Guide: The Great Corn Adventure
Keywords: corn in pellets, grow corn indoors, corn seedlings

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.