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How to Grow Sweet Corn in Florida

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Corn on the stalk image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com

Florida is the top producer of sweet corn delivered to fresh produce markets in the United States, according to the University of Florida Extension. Nearly half of the sweet corn grown in Florida is produced in the Everglades region. Sweet corn can be planted in the winter in the southern part of the state, which may account for the high volume of the crop produced there. Floridians will find the taste of fresh-picked sweet corn from their own gardens a delightful treat that may be enjoyed all year.

Preparation

Plant your sweet corn at the right time for your region. Plant in February through April in northern Florida, January through April in central Florida and October through March in southern Florida.

Plant the corn rows in an area that receives at least eight hours of sunlight per day and is away from salt spray if you are on the coast. Make sure there is no standing water in the area.

  • Florida is the top producer of sweet corn delivered to fresh produce markets in the United States, according to the University of Florida Extension.
  • Sweet corn can be planted in the winter in the southern part of the state, which may account for the high volume of the crop produced there.

Till the area with a garden tiller to a depth of 2 feet. Remove any weeds loosened by the tiller by raking the area with a garden rake. Discard the weeds.

Plow rows to a depth of 1 to 2 inches, using a garden tractor with a plow attachment. Make each row 6 to 8 feet in length with 3 feet between rows. Plow at least four rows that are uniform in length.

Planting

Drop a corn seed at the beginning of the row. Walk the length of the row of corn, dropping a seed every 12 to 18 inches. Drop two seeds in the same spot at the end of the row. Walk to the end of the next row and drop corn seeds beginning at the end of the row. Continue until you have placed seed in every row.

  • Till the area with a garden tiller to a depth of 2 feet.
  • Drop a corn seed at the beginning of the row.

Grasp a garden hoe by the handle and place the blade of the hoe at the outside edge of the beginning of the first row. Pull the dirt toward you to cover the seed corn at a depth of 1 inch. Use the back side of the hoe to smooth the dirt over. Work toward the end of the row in this manner until all the corn is covered. Repeat this process on subsequent corn rows.

Water the corn rows, using a garden hose with a sprinkler attachment. Wet the ground in the center of the row, but do not drench the soil. Water the seed corn daily in the early morning or late evening so that corn will not be burned up.

  • Grasp a garden hoe by the handle and place the blade of the hoe at the outside edge of the beginning of the first row.
  • Work toward the end of the row in this manner until all the corn is covered.

Tip

Types of sweet corn that do well in Florida include yellow varieties such as Summer Sweet or Winstar, white varieties such as Boreal and Vail or bi-colored varieties such as Big Time and Fantastic.

Warning

Different varieties of sweet corn should be planted at least 300 feet apart to avoid cross-pollination.

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