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How to Grow Sweet Midget Corn

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How to Grow Sweet Midget Corn

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Overview

Golden midget sweet corn (Zea mays) produces tiny, 3- to 5-inch ears of flavorful corn on compact plants that reach only 3 to 4 feet high and about 2 feet wide. Perfect for small garden spaces and containers, midget sweet corn varieties mature within 55 to 75 days of planting, with harvest starting about two weeks after silks appear at the tip of each ear. Midget sweet corn prefers full sunlight and well-draining, nutrient rich soil. The crop can be eaten fresh or stored through freezing, drying or canning for later use.

Step 1

Choose planting location that offers enough space to plant seeds 10 to 12 inches apart in rows, with 24 to 36 inches between rows.

Step 2

Use a soil testing kit, following manufacturer's directions, to determine pH level of the soil at the planting site. Midget sweet corn varieties do best in soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 7.5.

Step 3

Amend soil with rock sulfur if soil pH tests above 7.5. The Garden Helper recommends applying rock sulfur at a rate of 3.6 ounces per square yard (1.2 ounces per square yard for sandy soils) before planting.

Step 4

Incorporate a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic compost and coarse sand, in equal amounts, using a pitchfork or garden tiller. This can be done in conjunction with adding rock sulfur, before planting begins.

Step 5

Sow midget sweet corn seeds at a depth of 1 inch, spacing seeds at least 10 inches apart.

Step 6

Water the planting site so that the top 12 inches of soil is thoroughly penetrated. During the growing season, give midget corn plants at least 1 inch of water per week. Increase watering to twice per week during periods of drought.

Step 7

Apply fertilizer once every two weeks during the growth cycle. Scatter fertilizer alongside each row, lightly work it into the soil and then water to set. Veggie Harvest recommends using a 5-10-10 formula or any formula that contains higher amounts of potash and potassium.

Step 8

Remove weeds as they appear during the early growth stages. Use a hoe, taking care not to dig too deeply into the soil around the plant. Once foliage is established, weed growth is deterred by lack of sunlight.

Tips and Warnings

  • If foliage turns yellow or appears to be burnt, it is lacking nitrogen.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil testing kit
  • Rock sulfur (to lower soil pH)
  • Organic compost
  • Coarse sand
  • Pitchfork or garden tiller
  • Midget sweet corn seed
  • Water
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Garden hoe

References

  • Backyard Gardener: Zea Mays (Golden Midget Sweet Corn)
  • The Garden Helper: How to Test and Adjust your Soil pH
  • Veggie Harvest: Sweet Corn Growing and Harvesting Information
  • National Gardening Association: Corn: Planting Variations

Who Can Help

  • Plants of the Southwest: Golden Midget Sweet Corn
Keywords: sweet midget corn, planting midget corn, planting site preparation

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.