How to Fertilize Sweet Corn


Sweet corn is a fast-growing vegetable that is usually low-maintenance when it comes to fertilizer. Fertilizer helps raise the level of nutrients in the soil to harbor a beneficial growing environment for corn. Corn enjoys a nitrogen-rich soil environment with enough phosphorus. Growing well-fertilized corn involves attention to preparing the bed for the corn seeds and a keen eye to watch for signs of nutrient deficiency during growth.

Step 1

Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the area in which you will plant the corn.

Step 2

Lightly sprinkle organic nitrogen fertilizer over the layer of compost.

Step 3

Mix the compost and nitrogen fertilizer mix with the ground soil until the compost/soil mix is about 5 to 7 inches deep.

Step 4

Plant the corn according to planting instructions for your strain of corn.

Step 5

Fertilize the plants with a natural liquid corn fertilizer when the corn plants have reached a height of 4 inches. Fertilize the plants again when they are around 10 inches tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep an eye out for purple leaves on your corn, a condition which indicates that your corn needs more phosphorus. Spraying the corn plants with a liquid seaweed spray during the cold months of the planting season is a common treatment for phosphorus-deficient purple corn leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Organic nitrogen supplement (fish meal, cottonseed meal or blood meal)
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Protective gloves)
  • Liquid seaweed extract (optional)
  • Liquid natural fertilizer for corn (contains phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium)


  • "Vegetable Gardening"; Fern Marshall Bradley and Jane Courtier; 2006
  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Home Gardening Series: Sweet Corn
Keywords: corn fertilizer, sweet corn farming, corn soil preparation

About this Author

Terry Morgan is a freelancer who has been writing since 1992. Morgan has been published at, and eHow, frequenting topics like technology, computer repair, gardening and music. Morgan holds an Associate of Arts with a journalism focus from Moorpark College and a Bachelor of Arts in music and technology from California State University San Marcos.