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How to Grow Corn

When to Plant : Extremely frost sensitive, corn planted in soils cooler than 55 degrees (65 for super-sweet varieties) fails to germinate or has very poor germination. Direct-sow only after night temperatures are consistently in the 50s. Plant in blocks of at least 3 rows, at least 3 feet long apiece, to ensure best pollination. Hand-pollinate by gently shaking plants toward one another if you cannot devote this much space.

Watering : Requires ample water especially during fruiting -- up to 2 inches per week.

Pest Problems : Birds and raccoons, Japanese beetles. Corn earworms.

Fertilizing : Corn is unique in that it grows above ground. This enables the gardener to fertilize by side dressing, applying a band of organic granular fertilizer directly to the soil surface around the base of the plant. Apply according to rates indicated on package before fruit set.

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