Instructions for Planting Sweet Corn


Sweet corn is a popular warm-season plant grown in home vegetable gardens. This vegetable is available in yellow, white or bicolor varieties. Pick a growing site with at least 8 hours of sunlight exposure each day to produce sweet corn in 58 to 92 days. Fresh sweet corn tastes better straight from the garden than it does when purchased at a store. This healthy vegetable is high in fiber, niacin, folate and vitamin A. Gardeners commonly plant sweet corn in May or June, depending on when the soil warms up.

Step 1

Remove grass, weeds and rocks from an area in the sun. Prepare the planting site for the sweet corn when the soil has started to warm up to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant the sweet corn after all danger of a spring frost has passed.

Step 2

Work the soil loose with a shovel to the depth of 6 inches. Break up dirt clods, remove buried debris and pull out large root masses. Rake the soil smooth and level.

Step 3

Spread 3 to 4 lbs. of 12-12-12 slow-release fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting area. Work the fertilizer into the top 6 inches of the soil.

Step 4

Create a trench 1 inch deep with the side of a garden hoe. Place the sweet corn kernels in the trench 9 to 12 inches apart. Cover with soil, and plant the rest of the sweet corn in rows spaced 30 to 36 inches apart.

Step 5

Sprinkle the planting area with water until the soil is damp. Keep the soil damp by watering the area daily.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hot, arid conditions during the pollination stage of sweet corn causes poor quality in the harvest. Ears will have missing kernels, small size and poorly formed tips.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden hoe
  • Sweet corn seeds
  • Water


  • University of Illinois Extension: Corn
  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service: Growing Sweet Corn
Keywords: planting sweet corn, corn planting directions, instruction planting corn

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.