How to Grow a Corn Seed


Fresh sweet corn is one of the best-tasting vegetables, especially when the ears are freshly picked and cooked over a bed of coals. After the ears are picked, the sugar in the corn turns to starch, making the corn tough. Corn should be eaten or processed as soon after harvesting as possible. Blanch corn on the cob or cut-off kernels to freeze corn, or cut the kernels off and can them immediately after harvest.

Step 1

Till compost into the garden area in the fall, after you remove all roots of previous plants (or sod if you are making a new garden).

Step 2

Check the soil temperature. Soil must be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit to grow corn seed. The warmer the soil is, the faster the corn seed germinates. Till the soil when it reaches optimum temperature. For each row, mound the soil up, to form a hill. Space rows 36 inches apart. If you have a limited space, plant the corn in several short rows rather than one long row. Corn is wind-pollinated, and you will have better results with several short rows.

Step 3

Plant three seeds every 15 inches. Plant seeds according to the instructions on the seed packet. If you do not have a seed packet, plant the corn seeds 2 inches deep. Water the seeds well.

Step 4

Thin the seedlings when they reach 4 inches in height. You can discard the extra seedlings, or you can transplant the extra seedlings, keeping in mind the space requirements.

Step 5

Water the corn at least once per week with an inch of water. Fertilize the corn when it reaches 15 inches in height (around July 1). Hoe the corn to control weeds. Once the silk emerges, wait three weeks to harvest the corn. Corn is ready when the ears are well-filled and when the ear produces a milky substance when a kernel is punctured with your thumbnail.


  • Colorado State: Growing Sweet Corn in the Backyard Garden
Keywords: sweet corn, corn seeds, planting corn

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Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.