How to Grow Seed Corn


Corn is generally a long season crop. If you live in the warmer, southern states, you can grow just about any variety you like. Luckily, if you live in a short growing season, there are hybrid seeds that take less time to bring to harvest. Corn takes 58 to 95 days to reach maturity, depending on the variety. Growing corn from seed is not difficult. You must remember, though, if you are growing shorter crops along with the corn, plant them south of the corn so they will not be deprived of miss sunshine by growing in corn stalk shadows.

Step 1

Choose an area of your yard that receives direct sunlight for most of the day. Plan your garden to run from east to west, if possible. This will allow the corn to get the most amount possible.

Step 2

Dig up the garden area with your shovel, about a foot down. Pick out all the rocks, twigs, weeds and any other debris. Break up all of the dirt clods.

Step 3

Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the garden area. Work the compost into the soil with a shovel. Rake the garden soil mixture even.

Step 4

Make a garden row to plant your seed corn at the northern end of your garden. Do this by drawing a 4-inch line across the soil, from east to west. Allow the soil, from your hoe, to fall toward the south. Draw another line parallel to the first one, allowing the soil to fall to the inside, or north. Create a block of three or four more rows with a 3-foot pathway between each of them.

Step 5

Plant your seed corn at the top of the peaked soil in the center of the two rows. The seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep and spaced 4 to 6 inches apart. However, different varieties may require alternate planting depth and spacing. Always follow the planting recommendations on the packet. Push soil over the top of the seed hole, after it is planted. Repeat this process for the additional rows. Plant any smaller vegetables to the south of the corn rows.

Step 6

Spray a fine mist of water over the newly planted seeds. The soil should be moist, but not waterlogged, when you are finished. Check the garden row soil in a couple of days. If it is beginning to dry, water again. After the seed corn has germinated (sprouted), begin watering directly into the motes with the hose, without the spray nozzle. Fill the motes completely about once a week, when the weather is dry.

Step 7

Feed your corn plants two weeks after planting, with a general-purpose organic vegetable fertilizer. Repeat fertilization every two to three weeks, thereafter, until harvest.

Step 8

Apply a couple of drops of mineral oil to the top of the corn ears, as they develop silk. This will eliminate any worms, which is the primary insect pest for corn.

Step 9

Harvest your corn when the silk has turned brown and is dry. Pull down on the ear of corn and twist to remove it from the stalk.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed corn
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Hose spray nozzle
  • Fertilizer
  • Mineral oil


  • University of Illinois Extension: Corn
  • Perdue University Cooperative: Growing Sweet Corn
  • Colorado State Education: Growing Sweet Corn in Your Back Yard
Keywords: growing seed corn, planting corn seeds, corn growing

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.