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Corn

Botanical Name
Zea mays
Hardiness
Tender annual
Height
4 to 6 feet
Width
1 to 1.5 feet
Light
Full sun
Soil
Moist, well-drained, rich in organic matter
Planting & Care
  • Corn requires warm soils temperatures between 65°F and 85°F to germinate
  • Supersweet varieties also need more soil moisture for germination
  • Once all danger of frost has passed, sow seed 1/2 inch deep in cooler soils and 1 to 11/2 inch deep in warmer soil. Space kernels 4 to 6 inches apart in rows spaced 30 to 36 inches apart
  • Thin plants to 8 to 12 inch spacing when plants reach 3 to 4 inches in height
  • Plant in blocks at least 4 rows wide. Numerous short rows in a planting are better than fewer, long rows. This is vital to discourage cross pollination between varieties which could result in a poor quality harvest.
  • Arrange or isolate varieties in the garden to lessen the possibility of cross pollination
  • Plan for a continual harvest by first planting an early variety, follow that 2 weeks later with a sowing of an early variety and blocks of mid and late season varieties
  • Planting can be done as late as the first week of July
  • Supersweet varieties should be isolated from other varieties maturing at the same time to ensure the best quality crop
  • Corn can be interplanted with early-harvested cool-season crops to save space in the garden
  • Corn is shallow rooted, so be careful not to disturb the roots with cultivation
  • Mulch soil around plants to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture
  • A side dressing of a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer may be necessary during the growing season for this heavy feeder
Problems
Rust, corn rootworm, seedcorn maggots, smut, European corn borers
Varieties
  • Dazzle - bicolor, supersweet variety, good disease resistance
  • Quickie - 64 days to harvest
  • Iochief - midseason
  • How Sweet It Is - All-America Selections winner
  • Honey 'N Pearl - bicolor, AAS Winner
  • Sweet American Dream - excellent germination, super sweet, bicolor kernels, 6-7' tall plants, AAS winner
  • Sweet Honey Select - does not require isolation from other corn pollen, super sweet kernels on 8" ears, AAS winner
  • Sweet Indian Summer - super sweet yellow, white, red or purple kernels, colors intensify with cooking, AAS winner

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