Growing Corn Indoors

Overview

Unfavorable temperatures or a lack of room often lead gardeners to grow vegetables indoors. Many vegetables thrive in indoor containers, including onions, carrots, lettuce and a variety of herbs. Growing larger crops indoors, such as corn, requires preparation and dwarf variety seeds. To grow corn indoors, you will need to install grow lights and provide a dedicated space for the plant containers.

Preparation

Step 1

Select an area in your home suitable for indoor vegetable growing, such as a spare bedroom, large closet or enclosed patio area. The area must be contained to assure optimal health of the corn plants. Corn plants, like most other plants, aren't tolerant of daily household pollutants such as pet dander, cigarette smoke and noxious fumes that emit from gas range stoves or coated cookware.

Step 2

Equip the room with UV lighting. Attach the lights to 6-foot-tall stands or affix them to the ceiling. Attach the hooked ends of the light to the looped ends of the stand to stabilize it. Screw ceiling mounts into the ceiling with a hand drill and 2-inch screws.

Step 3

Place two or three 16-inch or larger plant containers in the room, directly underneath the UV lights.

Step 4

Add 3 inches of sphagnum or peat moss to the planters to retain moisture. Mix 2 parts potting soil to 1 part sand, and fill the container half-full with the mixture. Kitchen compost can be added at this time if you choose.

Step 5

Pour approximately 1 pound of live earthworms with worm castings on top of the soil. Allow the planters to sit and cure with the enriched soil for approximately 24 to 48 hours. This allows the earthworms to burrow and begin digesting the soils.

Planting Corn

Step 1

Obtain dwarf variety corn seeds. Many online vegetable seed merchants offer varieties such as Golden Midget and Early Sunglow.

Step 2

Sow two to three seeds in each pot approximately 1/4 inch deep. This assures at least one plant will sprout. If more than one plant sprouts in a container, remove the excess sprouts, leaving one close to the center of the container.

Step 3

Water the soil lightly every four days. Once the plants reach 1 foot tall, reduce the watering to once a week, giving each plant about 1 gallon of water per week.

Step 4

Keep the corn plants on an eight-hour light cycle. The UV lights should be on directly over the plants for eight hours. This simulates eight hours of full sunlight, with the rest of the day being shade.

Things You'll Need

  • Container at least 16 inches deep
  • Potting soil
  • Sphagnum moss
  • 3 thick plastic sheets, 4-by-4 feet
  • 10 lbs. sand
  • Aquarium-grade UV lights
  • Worm castings/live earth worms
  • Dwarf variety corn seed

References

  • Plant Files: Dent Corn Zea Mays 'Dwarf'
Keywords: growing corn indoors, indoor gardening, vegetable garden

About this Author

Chelsea Hoffman is a professional freelance writer with works published both on the Web and in print. She currently resides in Las Vegas. The author of the new series of horror novellas, titled "Fear Chronicles," Hoffman's work can also be found on environmental websites like Dobegreen.com, where she helps spread environmental awareness with her mighty pen.