Corn sown in the garden has nothing to do with the forage corn on the fields. It is a different variety, sweet corn. The corn cobs are best for cooking, eaten out of hand with salted butter, grilled, or the kernels from the cooked corn cob can be eaten with cucumbers and peppers as a salad. For popcorn, you need special varieties, namely water-rich popcorn.
Corn: This is how sowing in the garden works
- Corn, more precisely sweet corn, is sown directly into the bed from mid-April to mid-May, depending on the weather and region.
- In smaller gardens, sowing in blocks with a grid of 45 centimeters (18 in) has proven successful.
- In larger gardens, sow corn in seed rows 60 centimeters (24 in) apart and 15 centimeters (6 in) apart in the row.
- Sow 3 centimeters (1 in) deep and singulate the corn to 30 to 40 centimeters (12 to 16 in).
When to sow corn?
Sow the corn or sweet corn from mid-April to mid-May, depending on the weather and region. As with sowing beans, the soil temperature for corn should be constant at more than 12 to 15 °C / 54 to 59 °F. Let the seeds swell in water overnight, then they will germinate after a little more than a week.
How to sow corn?
In larger gardens, sow sweet corn in rows 50 to 60 centimeters (20 to 24 in) apart. The individual seeds are a good 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 in) apart within the row. After germination, separate the plants to about 40 centimeters (16 in). You can harvest the corn cobs from July to September, depending on the variety.
Sowing corn in the square
Corn is pollinated by the wind. Therefore, sowing in squares with an even grid and short rows has proven successful in the garden instead of sowing in long rows. The grid, i.e. the distance between rows or plants, is 45 to 50 centimeters (18 to 20 in). The seedlings should also be spaced at this distance. The plants should be of one variety, so that pollination works safely.
What to consider when sowing corn in the garden?
Sweet corn is quite hungry. Improve the soil for the plants with a shovelful of mature compost as well as a handful of horn meal per square meter (10 sq ft). Remember that most varieties of sweet corn will grow tall and shade neighboring beds. It is best to sow it on the north side of the vegetable garden so that it does not act like a sunshade. However, a sunny location is ideal.
In cooler regions, you can preplant the corn indoors in small pots starting in mid-April and plant the frost-sensitive young corn plants in the garden in mid-May. Direct sowing into the bed from mid-April is possible if you then cover the rows with foil.
How to care for the corn after sowing?
The most important care measure after sowing corn is definitely weeding to keep the competition at bay for the seedlings. If you want to avoid this, you should mulch the bed, for example with dried lawn clippings. Simply spread a thin layer of this around the plants. As soon as the corn is about knee-high, fertilize. This is usually the case around mid-July. Spread some horn meal on the soil in the root area of the plants. Corn is one of the drought tolerant plants. However, if you water in time during drought, especially in the summer months, you can enjoy a better harvest.
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