Growing corn can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a little bit confusing. There are all sorts of different varieties, each with its own unique characteristics. And then there’s the matter of how to grow corn in your backyard!
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know on how to grow corn. We’ll answer your most pressing questions and help determine which variety is right for you. So let’s get started!
Before you learn how to grow corn, what types are there?
There are many different corn types that you can plant. Here’s a brief list of the most typical ones:
1. Flint Corn
This is the kind you’re probably most familiar with. It’s used for making popcorn, and it can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
2. Sweet Corn
As the name implies, this variety tastes sweet! It’s excellent for eating raw or steamed, but it doesn’t work well if you try to pop it.
3. Flour Corn
This is an excellent choice for making flour. You can use it in any recipe that calls for regular wheat flour! But what is suitable to plant? Well, we recommend planting sweet corn, especially if you want something to eat after harvest.
When is the perfect time to grow corn?
The perfect time to grow corn is in the summer. It’s usually planted between April and May, so it can mature by September.
Corn is a warm-weather crop, so you won’t want to plant it when the temperature is too low or too high. You also don’t want to plant corn in wet soil, which can cause bacteria and fungi to grow on your plants.
Likewise, the best moment to plant corn is after the soil has warmed up to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to grow corn?
Follow these steps on how to grow corn!
- You need to prepare the soil. Corn needs good drainage and plenty of nutrients, so getting the ground ready is important. You’ll want to dig up your soil with a shovel or tiller until it’s about two inches deep.
- Then, mix some compost or fertilizer into the ground but make sure not to use too much!
- Before planting, soak the corn seeds in water for about 24 hours. This helps make the sources more likely to germinate, especially if you live in a colder climate.
- Plant the seeds 1 inch apart and 3 inches deep in rows at least 6 inches apart.
- Water regularly throughout the growing season, but don’t let the soil become soggy or waterlogged. This can cause root rot and stunt growth later on!
How to grow corn the right way?
Consider these tips when growing your corn!
- Corn likes sandy soil rich in nutrients, so if you have clay or heavy clay soil, you’ll need to amend it before planting.
- Plant your seeds in rows instead of spreading them out randomly. Corn needs a lot of space to grow, and it’s best if you have a dedicated area for each seed.
- Ensure you have plenty of water available. Corn plants demand about an inch of water per week, so be sure to check your supply frequently throughout the growing season.
- Give your plants plenty of nutrients with fertilizer or compost once they’ve sprouted their first set of leaves. This will help them grow tall and healthy!
When should you harvest corn?
Harvesting corn is a lot of fun, but it can also be confusing, especially if you’re unsure what to look for. Here’s a quick guide to help you begin harvesting!
The best time to harvest your corn is when the kernels are at their peak flavor and sweetness. To know when this is, carefully pull back the husks and check out the silk. The silk is the fine hair that hangs from each kernel.
If the silk is brown or brownish-yellow, then your corn has reached its optimal ripeness, and you can go ahead and harvest it. If the silk is still green or greenish-white, keep waiting until it turns brown or brownish-yellow before harvesting your crop.
Here are the things to consider.
- If you wait until they’re fully mature and brown, you’ll get more yield per acre. But if you harvest them before they’re fully mature, your corn will be sweeter and more tender, perfect for eating fresh!
- If you harvest too early, it won’t have as many kernels and will be less tasty. The kernels will be tough and not as sweet if you harvest too late.
- Once you’ve picked your corn, leave it in the husk for as long as possible. The longer it stays on its stalk, the sweeter it tastes!
Harvesting corn based on varieties
There are three main types of corn.
Sweet corn is the type that’s eaten fresh off the cob. Dent is used for canning, freezing, or drying. Flint is used for livestock feed and making cornmeal from dried kernels.
Sweet corn can be harvested when it reaches its peak maturity level, which varies by variety but generally falls between 75 and 95 days after planting.
Dent and flint varieties should be harvested before they are fully mature because they become tough once they reach maturity. If you’re growing a hybrid variety of either type of corn, harvest when the silks have dried up but before the kernels have begun drying out as well.
These hybrids tend to produce more than one plant per stalk, so you’ll need to monitor them as they grow if you want multiple harvests throughout the season!
Start growing corn today!
So there you have it! All the tips and tricks essential on how to grow corn, one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. And if you’re like us, you’re probably already excited to get started!
But before you begin, take a minute to think about where you’re going to grow your corn. Do you have a garden? Or maybe a space in your yard? Is it sunny or shady? Is it near other plants that could be affected by your corn-growing habits? Take all of these into account when choosing where to plant your stalks.
Once that’s done, all that’s left is for you to pull up your sleeves and get started! Good luck!