When to Plant Corn Seeds
Make sure the weather is warming up and your soil temperatures are at least 60-65 degrees--corn will not germinate and seeds can rot if soil temperatures are too cold. Best months are generally May-June, depending on your zone.
Where to Plant Corn Seeds
Plant in full sun in highly fertile, well drained soil with a 6.0 to 6.8 pH. Sweet corn will prefer rich soil with high nitrogen and plenty of moisture. Soil should be amended prior to planting with aged manure or rich compost. The ideal spot to plant corn would be in the same plot that yielded a healthy bean or pea crop the year before--these crops contribute the needed nitrogen to the soil.
How to Plant Corn Seeds
Corn is wind pollinated and, especially for smaller plots, should be planted in blocks, rather than long rows. Seeds should be planted 2-3 per hole, about 1-2 inches deep. Plantings should be approximately 12-15 inches apart, and rows should be 30-36 inches apart. If more than one seed sprouts from a single planting, they should be thinned to the strongest sprout. Shorter varieties can be planted closer, and sweeter varieties should be planted shallower.
How to Harvest Corn
Ears will be ready to harvest approximately 3 weeks after silk is visible and has become brown. Another way to check, pull down the leaves a bit to reveal the tip of the cob. The corn kernels should be firm and milky when cut open. To harvest, bend and pull ear downward from stalk with a twisting motion. Consume or freeze immediately for best quality. **Rule of thumb, the sweeter the corn, the more water it will need, and the warmer the soil temperatures must be.
How to Care for Corn Plants
Water plots well after planting and keep consistently moist through germination and harvest. As weather becomes warmer, increase watering. Sufficient moisture is crucial for plants to develop and produce properly. Corn should be fertilized with a nitrogen rich food when plants are about 12-18 inches high and weeds should be controlled so they do not steal moisture and nutrients from your crop. Corn will produce a fairly shallow root system, so care should be taken not to damage it when removing weeds. Weed control in corn plots is best achieved by a thick mulching, which also helps to maintain moisture.