How to Grow Indian Corn in 3 Foot Raised Beds


Indian corn comes in an array of colors, including red, blue, white, black and multicolored. Gardeners can choose ornamental or flint Indian corn, which lacks the flavor of sweet corn and is used primarily for decoration, or sweet Indian corn that can be eaten. Plant Indian corn at least 100 feet from other types of corn to avoid cross pollination. Growing Indian corn in raised beds ensures the soil is well draining and the corn plants won't rot.

Step 1

Wait until the soil temperature warms to at least 55 F. Corn seed fails to germinate if planted in colder soils.

Step 2

Turn over the soil in your raised bed with a shovel to aerate it. Remove weeds and rocks and break apart any soil clods you encounter. When you've turned over all the soil, rake it back into place with a hand rake so it lies evenly across the bed.

Step 3

Make 1 1/2-inch deep furrows with a small trowel for planting the Indian corn. For a 3-foot raised bed, the National Garden Association recommends planting two double furrows of corn. Make two rows on one side of the bed, leaving 8 inches between them and another two rows on the far side of the bed.

Step 4

Sow the corn seeds in the rows, leaving 3 to 5 inches between each seed. Cover over the seeds with soil to plant them.

Step 5

Water the planted Indian corn until the soil becomes moist but not saturated. Keep the soil moist until the seed germinates.

Step 6

Water the corn deeply when the seedlings have germinated. Water until the soil becomes saturated then allow the soil to dry out before watering again.

Step 7

Weed the raised bed to keep it free from weeds that can drain resources from your Indian corn. National Gardening Association advises weekly weeding.

Step 8

Fertilize the Indian corn when it is about knee high using 10-10-10 fertilizer. Scatter a thin row of fertilizer on each side of your double row, 4 inches from the corn. Water the fertilizer to work it into the soil. Repeat this fertilization when the Indian corn develops tassels.

Step 9

Harvest the Indian corn when the tassels turn brown and dry out if you want to eat the corn. If growing Indian corn as a decoration, leave it on the stalk until the stalks dry out, then cut off the cornstalk and Indian corn.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • Indian corn seed
  • Water
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • Purdue University Extension: Specialty Corn
  • Yankee Gardener: Ornamental Indian Corn
  • National Gardening Association: Corn Planting Variations
  • National Gardening Association: Corn Care
Keywords: growing corn, Indian corn, raised bed gardening

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.