Follow our step-by-step planting guide to grow your own sweet corn.
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.
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, consider amending your soil with a type of manure.
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 have wind damage, sturdy stalks often right themselves.
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.
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.
To yield about 70 ears of corn (the perfect amount for eating and sharing for a family of four), plant 50 corn plants. This 10x10-foot bed is planted in five 10-foot rows spaced 24 inches apart. Here are a few suggested varieties in order to grow your own sweet corn: