How to Plant Conventional Corn Seed

Overview

Because it is not a hybrid created for disease and pest resistance or to last longer after harvest, conventional corn has the most flavor of all kinds of corn, but the shortest shelf life. When growing conventional corn, it is best to start new blocks of seed every couple weeks so all the corn isn't ready for harvest at the same time. Soil preparation is a must, and should be done in the fall for spring planting.

Step 1

Choose a location that has full sun and drains well. Do not plant corn in the same place two years in a row. Keep in mind that corn will grow tall, so don't plant other vegetables so close that they will end up shaded.

Step 2

Prepare the soil in the fall by shoveling off the top layer of grass and weeds. Place 2 inches of compost on the top of the remaining soil and till to a depth of at least 8 inches. Rake through the soil and take out any remaining weeds and stones

Step 3

Water the soil so any remaining weed seeds will germinate and grow, then remove them by hand as soon as you see them. Add an inch of leaf mold to the top and till the soil again. At this point, the soil should be relatively weed free and nutrient rich.

Step 4

Till in another 2 inches of compost in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Begin planting when the soil is at least 50 degrees for three days in a row. To speed up the warming, place black plastic sheets over the soil.

Step 5

Use a hoe to make rows 3 feet apart. Create up to five blocks of four rows that are 4 feet long and plant in succession every 2 or 3 weeks to provide fresh corn all season long.

Step 6

Plant the corn seeds 1 inch deep every 4 inches. Place 2 seeds per hole in case one does not germinate. Thin to 1 plant per foot when the seedlings get about 3 inches high.

Step 7

Water well immediately after planting and whenever the soil starts to dry out thereafter. Pay close attention to the soil dryness during hot, sunny or windy days.

Step 8

Top dress with an inch of compost once a month to keep the soil fertile. Regular watering will leach the compost into the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Conventional corn seed
  • Shovel
  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Compost
  • Leaf mold
  • Soil thermometer

References

  • Organic Fruits: How to Plant Conventional Corn Seed
  • University of Illinois: Corn
  • Texas A&M: Easy Gardening...Sweet Corn
Keywords: growing conventional corn, planting vegetables, corn crops

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.