How to Care for Corn

Corn tastes best right after harvest. image by


Corn is a hearty, easy-to-grow vegetable that thrives during the summer. The majority of corn is grown for animal feed. Corn has a creamy, sugary texture and is best eaten soon after harvest. Corn grows well in full sun and in well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.7. Mix in plenty of compost or manure to develop healthy plants.

Step 1

Planting should take place after the last frost or around the date of the last frost. Soil should remain above 55 degrees for most varieties of corn and above 65 degrees for super-sweet varieties. Corn can be planted as late as June for a fall harvest.

Step 2

Plant seeds if you begin your planting season early. If you choose to plant later in the season, you should plant seedlings. Seeds should be planted 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep and about a half a foot apart. Corn grows best when planted in hills instead of rows. Put several plants in each hill.

Step 3

Irrigate your corn with at least 1 inch of water each week. Water the plants at the base; watering from above can wash away the pollen. Combine the watering sessions with fertilizing three times. Plants should be fertilized when they have reached 10 inches, 18 inches and again when the tassels appear.

Step 4

Harvest the corn when the silks at the top of the plants turn brown. The silks will still be moist. You will be able to see full-sized kernels at the top of the ears. Corn will remain fresh for a few days after harvest. It can be canned or frozen for long-term storage.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Hoe


  • Growing Sweet Corn
  • University of Illinois Extension Office
  • Growing Corn
Keywords: growing corn, harvesting corn, caring for corn

About this Author

Melody Dawn has been writing since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and USA Today. Her writing focuses on gardening, home improvement, travel, sports, business, parenting and education. Dawn holds a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism.

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