by gardenerstars

Corn Growing Guide

Sweet corn is a popular summer vegetable to grow in the home garden. Many cornfields consist of field corn, which is starchier but sweet corn, like its name, has a sweeter taste and the kernels are softer. Different types of sweet corn should not be planted together. Corn comes in many different varieties but if planted near each other, the types can cross and create a starchier corn. Garden corn can be knocked over in high wind areas. For best pollination grow corn in short rows, making a square formation instead of one long line of corn.

When to Plant:
Sweet corn is a warm-weather plant, and the soil must be warmer than at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit upon planting. If planting super sweet corn, wait for the soil to warm to at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Since sweet corn has a long growing season, the best way to plant sweet corn is to plant an early variety and then plant again further into the season. For colder areas, warm the soil by placing black plastic across the area planned for the sweet corn and plant the seeds through holes in the plastic. Corn is best grown not in rows but in square plots, as it is pollinated by wind.
Types of Sweet Corn
Sweet corn comes in three different types – normal, sugar-enhanced and super sweet. The different types include different levels of sucralose, which changes the flavor of the corn. Normal sweet corn’s sugars turn to starch quicker after harvest, but sugar-enhanced and super sweet corn stays sweeter longer. Sugar-enhanced sweet corn is more tender than the others, and super sweet corn needs warmer, moister soil to germinate compared to the other types of corn. Sweet corn can be yellow, white or multi-colored like some heirloom varieties.
Some varieties include the Silver Queen variety is known to be so tender and sweet, it can often be eaten raw. Golden Bantam has a fast maturing time with a sweet taste. Although often known for its yellow or white kernels, sweet corn can come in heirloom varieties and grow in other colors, like red.
Planting dates for sweet corn:
Zone 2: June 15
Zone 3: May 31
Zone 4: May 15
Zone 5: May 1
Zone 6: April 15
Zone 7: April 1
Zone 8 March 15
Zone 9: March 1
Though it has a long growing season, corn grows fast and a nitrogen-rich fertilizer can be used at planting time to aid in the growth.Use a 6-3-3 (N-P-K) fertilizer for corn.
To avoid cross pollination plant varieties at least 500 feet apart or plant at different times to ensure tasseling at different times.
Location: Planting Depth: Soil Type:
Full  Sun 1-2″ Well drained, fertile soil, pH 6-6.8
Seed Spacing Row Spacing Seeds per 100′ Yield per 100′ Seeds per Acre
Corn 8-12″ 24-36″ 150 8 dozen ears 33,000




Normal Sugary (SU): Standard sweet corn. Rich corn flavor and high quality kernels. Best if picked and cooked same day.
Sugary Enhanced (SE): Increased sugars in kernels with more flavor. Retains quality and flavor longer than SU after being picked.
Super Sweets (SH): lighter kernels because of water reduction. Highest level of sugars extend flavor even more. Great shelf life due to low water content.
1 Pound = 16 Ounces
1 Acre = 43,560 square feet, or 435’x100′ 
Sugar Values of Corn:
Sweet corn has a lower starch content and higher sugar content and is composed of up to 18 percent sugar, most of which is sucralose. Foods with high sugar can be ranked high on the glycemic index, which can then lead to increased blood sugar and unhealthy side effects. Despite its sweetness, sweet corn doesn’t rank high on the glycemic index, making it a healthier option for those with a sweet tooth.