How to Sow Corn Seeds


Corn is known primarily as a long season vegetable. An early variety, such as Everlee, will still take 58 days to mature in cooler climates. It takes plenty of sunshine and garden space to bring in a good harvest. Freshly picked corn is more delicious and sweeter than any you will purchase in a grocery store. The sugar in the corn has less time to turn into starch, when you pick it, cook it and eat it quickly.

Step 1

Plan an area of the north end of your garden that runs from east to west. This directions will give the longest hours of sunshine for the corn. By planting at the north end of the garden, the tall corn stalks will not shadow shorter garden vegetables.

Step 2

Work the garden soil, to a depth of about 1 foot, by digging up and turning it over. Remove all unwanted remains, such as weeds, stones, litter and twigs. Break up any large clods of dirt. Rake the garden area level.

Step 3

Place about a 2-inch cover of compost over the top of the garden soil. Use the shovel and rake to work it through the soil. Rake the garden level again.

Step 4

Use the point on one side of the hoe to create a line in the soil. It should be 3 or 4 inches deep, letting the soil fall to the south (or inside). Make a second line parallel to the first one, but about 1 foot away to the south, allowing the hoe's soil to fall towards the first line. This will create a center peak in the garden row, with two moats on either side.

Step 5

Create a block of four or five corn rows. One or two rows will not produce the necessary amount of corn plant pollination, which is conducted by wind.

Step 6

Plant the corn seeds in the peak of the garden row. Make seed holes in the soil with your finger or the end of a pencil. The holes should be about 1 inch deep and spaced 4 to 6 inches apart. Gently move soil over the hole. Repeat this process for all the corn rows.

Step 7

Moisten the garden bed with a gentle water misting. Keep the soil moist so the corn seeds germinate. Check the soil often and re-spray it as the soil dries. Water once a day, directly into the moats, after the corn seeds have germinated (sprouted).

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Compost
  • Hoe
  • Hose spray nozzle


  • University of Illinois Extension: Corn
  • Purdue University Cooperative: Growing Sweet Corn
  • Colorado State Education: Growing Sweet Corn in Your Back Yard
  • University of Wisconsin Extension: Successful Corn Pollination
Keywords: sowing corn, planting corn, garden preparation

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.