Corn fields are most common in the Midwest, with Iowa having the largest amount of corn fields when it comes to yield. Grow corn in your own backyard if the planting and environment conditions are favorable. There are many factors to take into consideration when planting corn, such as planting location, corn varieties and planting depth and time. Corn sucrose (sugar) levels determine the corn's sweetness. The more starch in a kernel, the less sweet it is, so keep this in mind when choosing corn varieties for planting.
Choose a planting site with well-draining soil and full sun. It is beneficial for all gardeners to test the soil in their planting sites to ensure the proper conditions for plants, but it is not completely necessary. Since corn is a heavy feeder, fertilize the planting area with fertilizer specific to corn crops. The richer the soil, the better. Rotate your corn crops from year to year so the planting site remains healthy. If you continue to plant one crop in one spot for too long, it becomes susceptible to bacteria or disease.
The key to planting corn is waiting until the soil is warm enough. The most common time to plant corn is from April to June, however some less-sweet varieties can be planted even earlier. Don't plant corn during a very rainy period, as starting corn in wet soil is not recommended. The temperature of the soil needs to be above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The sweeter your variety of corn, the warmer the soil needs to be before planting.
The depth at which you plant your corn depends on the variety, but on average, 2 inches deep will suffice. If you are planting corn kernels early--before mid-April--you may need to plant the kernels 1 1/2 inches deep. Do not plant corn seed any shallower than 1 1/2 inches. Controlling planting depth leads to more successful germination and increases the optimum growth of the corn crop.
Space rows of corn approximately 30 inches apart. Opinions vary about the spacing of corn rows, but it don't let the rows interfere with each other. According to research at Iowa State University, spacing corn rows less than 30 inches apart yielded less successful and smaller crops.
Different Corn Varieties
There are dozens of varieties, from waxy corn to sweet corn to dent and flint corn. Yellow corn can be planted early in the season and has tough, large kernels, while the bi-colored corn Quickie grows fast and produces corn within about 50 days. Corn varieties great for beginner growers at home include Peaches and Cream, Jubilee Super Sweet, Golden Cross Bantam and Butter and Sugar.