How to Start Corn From Seeds


Homegrown corn has a sweetness and tenderness that can't be found in a grocery store. If there is space in your garden, two or three rows of corn are a must. If you have more room, plant corn seeds in new rows every two to three weeks during the growing season for a continuous harvest. Corn seeds need a soil temperature of at least 50 degrees F to germinate. Generally two to three weeks after the threat of frost has past in your area, the ground should be warm enough to plant your corn seeds.

Growing Conditions

Step 1

Plant corn seeds in full sun and in soil that is relatively flat to help with irrigation and moisture retention.

Step 2

Add organic material, compost and/or rotted manure to the soil. Work the organic matter into the soil at least 6 inches deep with a spade, tiller or plow. Do this two to three weeks before the planting date to allow he organic matter time to break down in the soil.

Step 3

Plant the corn seeds 1 inch deep or up to 2 inches deep in sandy soil. Space the corn seeds 10 to 12 inches apart and in rows that are 8 to 10 feet long. Space the rows 2 to 3 feet apart.

Step 4

Water the corn seeds and plants to keep the soil damp. As the plant matures and begins to form corn ears, make sure the entire root system stays moist to ensure full development of all kernels on the cob.

Step 5

Fertilize the corn plants with a half-strength, nitrogen-rich fertilizer, per the directions, until the tassels on the ears of corn begin to develop.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh corn seeds
  • Spade, rototiller or plow
  • Organic material, compost, rotted manure
  • 12-12-12 fertilizer


  • Purdue University: Growing Sweet Corn
  • Mother Earth News: All About Growing Sweet Corn
Keywords: raising corn, growing sweet corn, sweet corn planting

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.