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.

Boiled-in-the-Husk Corn on the Cob

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.

Step 1: Plant

Planting Seed

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

Planting Sweet Corn

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

Picking Sweet Corn

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

Picking Sweet Corn

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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