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4 Steps to Growing Your Own Sweet Corn

Corn may seem like an intimidating crop, but it's fairly easy to grow in any garden. Follow our step-by-step planting guide to grow your own sweet corn this summer.

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Fresh sweet corn is one of summer's most beloved treats. To enjoy sweet corn at its tender, sugary best, plant a patch close to your kitchen door in direct sun so you can easily pick it and pop it directly into a pot of boiling water.

Homegrown tomatoes are another summer favorite; learn how to grow your own.

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Step 1: Plant

In order to grow your own sweet corn, plant when soil temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Sow seeds 1 inch deep every 4 inches, dropping a couple of seeds into each hole to ensure germination. Corn loves nitrogen, so consider amending your soil with a type of manure.

Step 2: Thin

In order to have the most success at growing your own sweet corn, you must reduce crowding. When plants are about 4 inches tall, thin to one plant per foot to avoid lodging (wind flattening the corn to the ground). Corn has a shallow root system, so water at least 1 inch per week. If you do have wind damage, sturdy stalks often right themselves.

Step 3: Check Readiness

Sweet corn is ready to pick about 20 days after the ears begin silking. Ripe ears have dry silk and are full to the touch.

Step 4: Harvest

For the best tasting corn, pick mature ears and drop them directly into boiling water so the sugars don't convert to starch, which begins almost immediately after picking.

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