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Planting Corn and Growing Tips

Written by Hilary on June 25th, 2008

Corn is quite easy to grow, but it does need some extra attention throughout its growing season to get the best crop possible.

Here are a couple of tips for planting corn and how to properly care for it, so you have the most success.

Temperatures: Corn germinates poorly in cool soil, it likes warmer temperatures. Optimum growth occurs in 65° to 75° F (18° to 24° C) weather, and does well up to 90° F (32° C), but it does very poorly at temperatures of 100° F (38° C) or above.

Spacing: Corn rows should be at least 3 feet (1 m) apart, and each plant should be a minimum of 9 inches (23 cm) apart. Plant in blocks so the wind can pollinate the corn properly.

Planting: When planting, put down a balanced fertilizer like 15-15-15 or 5-5-5. If the weather is warm, sow seeds 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. If planting in the middle of hot summer weather, sow up to 4 inches (10 cm) deep.

Side-Dressing: Corn is a heavy feeder and needs to have fertilizer put along the root zone on one side of each row (side-dressing) a few times throughout its growing cycle. Side-dress once when the corn is around 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Side-dress on the other side of the row when you see tassels forming on the plants.

Watering: Water corn as needed. Corn needs at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week. If you have no rain, give the soil a good soaking and then allow the soil to dry between waterings. Have some care though and don’t water corn from above, because that can wash the pollen off the tassels and you won’t get any corn!

Avoid Cross Pollination: Keep different corn cultivars at least 400 yards (365 m) apart, or plant so they tassel two weeks apart to avoid any possibility of cross pollination.

Harvesting: Three weeks after corn silks appear on the ears, carefully pull back part of the husk and pierce a kernel with your thumbnail. If the liquid that comes out is milky white, the sweet corn is ripe and ready to eat.

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine – www.weekendgardener.net

Have good week!

 

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