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How to Fertilize Sweet Corn

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How to Fertilize Sweet Corn

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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 Gardenguides.com, Travels.com 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.