Corn is a popular summertime vegetable that can be boiled, fried, baked or grilled. Sweet corn comes in three sweetness levels and white, yellow or bi-color kernels. The University of Illinois recommends the sugary enhancer type of corn, which offers a sweet flavor and creamy corn texture. Corn is native to North America and was grown by the Native Americans and early colonial settlers. Since corn does not transplant well, gardeners should start it from seed in the late spring when soil temperatures warm to 55 Fahrenheit.
Prepare the raised bed for planting by turning over the soil with a shovel to aerate it. Remove rocks, weeds, roots or sticks from the bed.
Lay 2 inches of compost or manure over the soil. Turn the manure or compost into the soil by rotating it with a shovel. Smooth out the grade by working the flatter side of the shovel back and forth over the bed, aiming for a flat surface in which to plant.
Dig furrows with your trowel for planting corn seed. Make the furrows 1/2-inch deep in moist soil and 1-1/2 inches deep in dry soil. Lay corn seeds in your furrows, leaving 9 to 12 inches between seeds. Leave 30 to 36 inches of space between rows in the raised bed. Cover over the seed with soil after it is in the furrow.
Water the newly planted corn seed until the it becomes moist. Continue to keep the soil moist until the corn seed germinates and begins to grow.
Water the developing corn plants deeply, until the soil becomes saturated. Allow the soil to dry out until it becomes crumbly to the touch before watering again.
Apply 10-10-10 fertilizer when the corn plants reach 12 to 18 inches in tall. National Gardening Association recommends scattering a thin line of fertilizer on either side of your row of corn, about 4 inches from the stalks. Water the raised bed to work the fertilizer into the soil.
Fertilize again when the corn develops silky tassels.
Harvest corn stalks when the tassels dry out and turn brown. Most corn is ready for harvest in 70 to 90 days.
Things You Will Need
- Compost (optional)
- Manure (optional)
- Corn seed
- 10-10-10 fertilizer
- Corn needs well-draining soil to grow properly. If your native soil doesn't dry out well after a rainstorm or doesn't absorb water readily, avoid planting corn directly in the ground and grow corn in a raised bed.