Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Sweet Corn

Ears of Corn


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Sweet corn is an annual with yellow, white, and bi-colored ears. A long, frost-free growing season is necessary after planting. Here’s how to grow corn in your garden!

Sweet corn is wind-pollinated, so it should be planted in blocks, rather than in single rows. Early, mid, and late-season varieties extend the harvest. If you miss the optimal harvest time, corn will go downhill fast, as sugars convert to starch.


  • Corn plants are picky about their soil. Work in aged manure or compost the fall before planting and let over winter in the soil.
  • Starting corn seeds indoors is not recommended.
  • Plant seeds outdoors two weeks after the last spring frost date.
  • Make sure soil temperature is above 60 degrees F for successful germination. (Up to 65 for super sweet varieties.) In colder zones, the ground can be warmed by a black plastic cover if necessary. Plant seeds through holes.
  • Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Rows 30 to 36 inches apart.
  • For sufficient pollination, plan your plot right. Don’t plant two long rows, rather, plant corn blocks of at least four rows.
  • You may choose to fertilize at planting time; corn is meant to grow rapidly. If you are confident that the soil is adequate, this can be skipped.
  • Water well at planting time.


  • When your plants are 3 to 4 inches tall, thin them so they are 8 to 12 inches apart.
  • Be careful not to damage the roots when weeding.
  • Soil must be well drained and able to keep consistent moisture.
  • In dry conditions, be sure to keep corn well watered due to its shallow roots. Water at a rate of 5 gallons per sq yard. Mulch helps reduce evaporation.


Corn plants are susceptible to several common garden pests:


  • Harvest when tassels begin to turn brown and cobs start to swell. Kernels should be full and milky.
  • Pull ears downward and twist to take off stalk.
  • Sweet corn varieties lose their sweetness soon after harvesting.
  • Prepare for eating or preserving immediately after picking.
  • Sweet corn freezes well, especially if removed from ears before freezing. Learn how to properly freeze corn.
  • Corn kernels can also be harvested for other purposes, like corn-filled therapy packs.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

  • Baby corn is produced from regular corn plants that are harvested early, while the ears are immature. Regular sweet corn, sugar-enhanced sweet corn, and supersweet corn varieties can be used, along with a few varieties that are specific for baby corn.
  • If your corn shucks harder than usual, prepare for a cold winter.
  • Corn is one of the Three Sisters; its growing style pairs perfectly with beans and squash. Learn more about companion planting.
  • Corn is great for eating but also has so many other uses including medicinal. Learn more about corn for natural health.
  • Learn more fun, witty facts about corn.


Cooking Notes

If too much hot pepper or spice has been added to a soup or stew, adding a can of sweet corn can help.

Popcorn is also a favorite snack if you have leftover kernels. Learn how to make homemade popcorn here.

Reader Comments

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growing corn

I have shoots coming up on outside of corn stalks. Why and what should I do about it?

Secondary Corn Stalks: "Tillers"

Small shoots that appear alongside the base of a primary corn stalk are known as “tillers.” These secondary stalks are actually a good sign; they mean that your plant is healthy and your soil is well-conditioned. Tillers are not an issue and generally won’t compete significantly with the central stalk, but if you’d like to be sure, you can simply cut them off at their bases. 

Pruning Sweet Corn

I am thinking about planting corn and I have done enough research to allow me to speak pidgeon corn.

After much of the research I have done on sweet corn, I have found that a stalk will produce between one and two usable cobs, in the variety I am planting. And may produce other non-usable cobs.

I was wondering, If I trim off all but two baby cobs as the stalk is growing, will the plant put more energy into the two remaining cobs giving me a better chance of producing two good cobs per plant.

Or would it not make a difference and I may actually trim off what would become one of my two good cobs?

Thank You for any help you can offer.

an ear for corn

David, We must be perfectly honest with you: After the research you say you have done, you have much more knowledge about corn than we do! But we will concur with you, based on the (il)logical comparison to peaches, with which we have some knowledge (but, it must to said, not much luck). Peach growers are advised to remove/prune small fruits to allow a smaller but better harvest. We think that the same would apply to corn. And it seems to apply to other plants, such as melons and pumpkin. After all, if the plant puts its energy into the remaining “fruit” (or ears, in this case), wouldn’t it be as good as it can be?! Assuming every other aspect of the growing conditions are favorable, of course. We say, trim the ears off those stalks! And, if you feel it might be of value, leave a few stalks alone; don’t trim them, and see, come fall, which method seems most productive.

And let us know how this goes, would you?

Crows and critters ate the seed Corn

I know it's not Recommended to start Sweet Corn indoors, but in recent years I have seen it in market pack for sale as transplants And questioned why at the time. BUT Last year the crows got most of my seed. Would planting seed in the netted expanding peat disks 2-3 weeks before time to plant outdoors stunt the plants? I have an adequate light setup for tomatoes and peppers, etc. I think it would at least let them germinate, Could I plant them at 4 inches high without problems, or will I fail to get corn if I do?

transplanting corn

The success of transplanting corn depends on several factors, including temperature, light, soil fertility, variety, container depth (to allow the seedlings to grow deep roots), giving seedlings time to harden off, not allowing them to grow too much before transplanting (2 to 3 weeks is likely OK), etc. However, it has been done with success. You may find the following article, by the Vermont Cooperative Extension, helpful, about one commercial grower’s experience.
Good luck!


Transplanting corn

Hello, I've grown sweetcorn on my UK alottment for the last two years with the following slightly different methods:
Year 1: Sowing seeds in small hand made paper pots approx 1.5inch diameter, germinating in dark very warm cupboard. Out onto window sill, to get the light, as soon as the shoot shows through the compost. Keep on the window sill until about 2 inches tall. Transplant into 3 inch pots and back to the window sill until about 5-6 inches tall. Then out to small 'cold frame' in the garden until 16 or so inches tall. Then the weather was warm enough for them to go out into the ground on the alottment.

Year 2: Sowing seeds in 3 inch pots, germinating in dark very warm cupboard. Out onto window sill to get the light as soon as the shoot shows through the compost. Keep on the window sill until about 5-6 inches tall. Then out to small 'cold frame' in the garden for a couple of weeks to get them used to the cooler temperatures. Then out to our 'poly tunnel' at the alottment (very warm enclosure) for a few weeks. Then, when they were 16 inches or so and the weather was warm enough, they went into the ground on the alottment.

Windows in the back of the house have light until mid-day, ones in the front have sun later in the day so no more than 50% daylight for each set - I wonder what they would be like if they had sun all day. (temps 15-20 C)
Cold frame in the garden has direct sunlight for only 2/3 day with direct sunlight the temp rises to 30 C+. (I hope I don't forget to open the top when it's sunny - it got to 54 C one day just a month ago and I almost lost my tomatoes...)

Lots of indoor growing for us due to lower temps earlier in the year. Plenty of corn both years - first year we grew 40 plants, year 2 was 70 plants, this year we're going for a round hundred.

A lot of varying info but I wanted to show you how hardy they can be with temps and transplanting. I still have sweetcorn in the freezer from last year and I have just potted my first seeds for this year. Good luck, Rob.

First time garden

I'm going to plant a 2 by 6 foot block. I'm going to grow peas around the stalks and zucchini at the base. Does this make sense? Do you have any recommendations or tips?

corn and potatoes

I have a big potato patch on the north side my garden, about 10'x10'. Can I plant corn in this patch in between my potato rows, or does corn need more space? I've tried growing corn three summers now, and never get good results. I don't want to devote so much space to a crop that might not grow, so I want to plant it where I've already got something going (in case its another failed experiment). But will it hurt my potatoes?

corn and potatoes

As far as companion plants, corn and potatoes do fine, although corn is a heavy feeder, while potatoes are medium feeders and do better without as much nitrogen (which encourages foliage rather than tuber formation). However, the other thing to keep in mind is the height of the corn. Plant them on the north side of the garden, so that they don’t shade the shorter potato plants too much. Also, corn, which is wind pollinated, does nicely in the garden when planted in blocks rather than rows.

Sweet corn topping

Hey, So I am a first time gardener. I have put some sweetcorn into my garden that I have built an enclosed mesh protective cage over to keep unwanted preditors out. The issue I have is that the sweetcorn has grown taller than I expected and is pushing through it. What would happen if I were top the stalks. Is there anything else that I could do to save the corn.
Cheers Willie

corn cage too small

Welcome to gardening, Willie! We have seen folks in a small-plot community garden create a mesh cage for the corn, specifically to keep critters away. We can not recall how that grower may have handled his tallest stalks. Check the seed packet/source to see how tall the corn can be expected to get. If it is not a whole lot taller, perhaps you can add a sort of mesh cover to the arrangement. If it is a lot taller,you might want to remake the cage to make it higher. It would seem a shame to put the crop at risk. Maybe you can use the existing cage, separately, as a pea fence or cuke/squash/melon vine trellis. Don’t think of the effort as wasted; there is always another use for the mesh.

In the meantime, we looked into the idea of topping off. Apparently, farmers who grow corn for seed corn production top off (cut off) as much as two feet of the stalk. This removes the tassels so that the plants can only be pollinated by other plants. This goes on to say that the rows of corn that are topped are female; the rows that are not topped are male. Pollen is produced on the tassel and crossbreeding begins. The result is hybrid seed. You probably do not want to do that.

We wish you the best—

Sweet Corn

My corn is about 2 feet high and I wonder if I should remove the shoots that appear on the stem near the ground or leave them on

corn suckers

In a healthy crop, removing the suckers, also called tillers, makes little difference to the harvest yield or health of the plant, since they usually appear later in the season and can’t compete with the main stalk. Their formation may indicate healthy conditions; some varieties tend to form suckers more often. If the crop had been damaged early in the season, or the plants are widely spaced, a corn plant may respond by growing suckers; in these cases, sometimes those suckers will produce harvestable ears. Otherwise, in a healthy, closely spaced crop, they won’t usually.
If you’d like to remove suckers, only do so when they are very small, to prevent damage to the stalk; removing them when they are larger will weaken the plant and invite insects and diseases.

I am using this website as a

I am using this website as a reference and I cannot seem to find the date this article was published and the authors name.

The author is The Old Farmer

The author is The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Web pages are updated continuously so there is not a publish date, per se.  Look up APA guidelines for how to reference a web article.


Planting Corn. I'm doing a school assignment on corn and was just wondering if anyone could tell me the germination time?
Thanks, Very Much Appreciated,

Germination depends on your

Germination depends on your soil temperatures and weather conditions. If the teperatures are 60 degrees F or warm, germination may take 10 to 12 days. If the temp is 50 to 55, it may take 3 weeks. 

Im going to buy some land in pyote tx

I wanted to know if i had the right soil prepared and the weather was on my side. Is it possible to grow corn around the middle of August toward the end to yield a good crop.

When to Plant Corn

For a fall harvest, it is recommended corn be planted mid- to late July, August 1st at the latest.

What can i plant in this plot for a short period of time

I have this opportunity to use a plot of land in an open field, am planning on planting corn/maize on the land.
Is it preferrable I do in June,
also what can I plant along with it?
can cassava go for it,
Can vegetables do, if so what kind,
Pls I need something that won't cost me a lot... Thanks

Corn Companions

The "Three Sisters" is an ideal companion planting: In a hill put a few corn in the middle, pole beans in a ring around that and squash or pumpkin around the outer perimeter of the hill. Each type give the others the nutrients they need to grow well.There's quite a bit about the traditional "Three Sisters" method online. Cassava is a companion to sweet potato according to one companion planting chart I found.

growing corn in zone 5a

Which is the best variety of corn for eating to grow in zone 5a?

Sweetcorn with hardly any kernels!

we have grown tall, healthy looking corn all with cobs on them. The silks have turned brown but upon opening them they have very few yellow kernels. The rest are unripened, white and flat. Do we just need to be more patient or do we need to help them pollinate? If so, how do we do this?! Thank you

kernel troubles

Brown silks are one sign that corn is maturing; also check the kernels themselves. If you puncture one with your fingernail, it should exude a milky liquid. If it is clear, it is not ready yet. However, there are also several diseases, pests, and cultural/environmental problems that can cause the same effect. Drought stress, for example, can interfere with pollination, and so can the feeding habits of certain insects. For in-depth information about corn ear problems–you might visit this page from the Ohio State University:

Growing corn

I have read on the old farmer's almanac that I should plant corn seeds 1" deep and 4 to 6" apart.
In the care section it states when your plants are 3 to " tall, thin them so they are 8 to 12" apart.
Does this mean I have to up root every other plant to be able to obtain the minimum 8 inches, or what exactly does this mean?
Thank You,

thinning corn

When the seedlings get to be 3 to 4 inches tall, remove seedlings (choose the weakest to remove, if you have the option) so that the spacing is now between 8 and 12 inches apart, giving the remaining plants enough room to mature healthily. If you have a vigorous variety, the larger spacing (12 inches) might be better. So, if you’ve planted at 4-inch spacing, remove every other to obtain 8-inch spacing; as a diagram, with uppercase “X” being the plants you want to keep and lowercase “x” for those you remove:  X x X x X x X. Or, if you’ve planted at 4-inch spacing, you can also choose a larger spacing, such as 12 inches; in this case, you’d remove the 2nd and 3rd plant out of every 4:  X x x X x x X x x X

Because some seeds may not germinate, some seedlings may be weak, some may be eaten by pests, etc., planting more corn initially, at a closer spacing (4 to 6 inches), gives you a better chance of getting the most corn for your space after thinning (8 to 12 inches).

Sweet corn

We planted bi-color sweet corn, for the first time. It has been delicious and of good size, but 2 of the ears, were a little flexible. Why is that? Thank you.

soft cob

Some varieties of corn naturally have a more flexible cob, but pests, diseases, environmental conditions, or nutrient deficiencies can sometimes make the cob softer than normal.

This is my first time with corn , What is the Japanese beetle b

This is my first real garden and growing Veggies. 1) zucchini 2) corn 3)peas 4)cucumbers 5)Blue lake green Beans 6 Tomatoes ( Roma ).. So please tell me about the corn beetle ?

beetles on corn

Do you mean the corn flea beetle? These pests attack corn seedlings in May and June. They can transmit bacterial wilt. Damage is usually minimal, but they cause many tiny holes in leaves, and tiny bleached lines or circles. Adults are tiny and black, and hop about.  For more information about flea beetles, see:

Japanese beetles, on the other hand, are much larger, metallic blue-green beetles that emerge around June and July; they can skeletonize leaves of many plants, leaving almost nothing except the leaf veins; on corn, they may nibble on corn silk and tassels. For more information about these pests, see:

wow, interesting information.

wow, interesting information... will love to receive personal males

Enquire for sweet corn

I would like know about sweet corn cultivation

Corn help

My husband and I live in SC and we have planted corn in our gardenden. It is doin exceptionally well except for one thing. We have pesky little bugs called japanese bettle bugs that are eating our corn. What can we do?

Japanese Beetles on Corn

You’re right, Japanese beetles sure can be pesky! Unfortunately, the most effective way to get rid of Japanese beetles is to hand pick them. For more tips on controlling these pests, check out our page on Japanese beetles. Good luck!

How to grow corn

Can corn survive in hot climate?

where can i find sweet corn to plant

Where do you find sweet corn if you want to plant some? What's the best place?

growing corn

should I use mulch


Sorry, Early Sunglow Hybrids


Where should I plant corn? I have a spot that receives noon and afternoon sunlight and strong morning sunlight, but I don't know if that's enough. Planning on growing early sunflower hybrids.

The more sun the better. Your

The more sun the better. Your spot sounds like it will be fine. Good luck with the Sunglow corn!

Corn ?

What day should I plant corn on the ground I have already started it in pots in doors

planting corn outdoors

Please see planting guidelines above. To plant corn directly outdoors, select a time about 2 weeks after your last expected spring frost date. To find this information, you can go to the following link and put in your zip code:

Another way is to use our Gardening Calendar page – input your zip code, and it will tell you dates to plant various crops both indoors and out, including corn.

Hope this helps!


I roll up clean panty hose and cut in four sections. Then I use the long strips to tie down the tomato plants. It does not cut the plant, but stretches, and the tomato grows to where it is stretched to.

I also use the home made compost layered in a fifty gallon plastic can. Raise up at least six inches off the ground. Add leaves,, grass clippings, chicken poop, coffee grounds, egg shells, bananas, and small branches for air space, repeat. You leave in sun. Add one gallon of water. Drill hole at bottom and put in rubber wine cork. After a few weeks of cooking. Pour another gallon of water on. Pull cork and drain juice into bucket. You now have compost tea. Put cork back in. Then keep adding to the bucket. It shrinks down every few weeks. You keep taking juice. You don't have to stir or break your back mixing. I also use the 10-10-10 every 10 days. I am in Sacramento. I get two to 3 pound tomato.


How do u apply the pantyhose to tomato plant. Would u mind being a little more descriptive on those steps. I like the idea

pantyhose garden ties

Strips of pantyhose make great garden ties for plants that need to be secured to a stake or cage. One way is to cut strips (each about 1 inch wide) across a pantyhose leg. You should then have a circle of material–you can then stretch each loop a bit and then cut it, so that you have one long strip. Use a strip to tie a branch of a tomato, for example, to a stake to give it support. Make sure that your loop of hose around stem and stake allows wiggle room (say, the width of two fingers) to avoid injury to the plant stem and so that air circulates around the stem.

fertilizing with 12-12-12

I will be planting some onion plants in the garden soon. How far ahead of planting can I till in some triple 12 fertilizer and still reap the benefits of the fertilizer?

Hi Darwin,

Hi Darwin,

If you use a quick-release fertilizer wait about two to three weeks before planting. If you use a slow-release fertilizer you can wait longer.

Just Harvested

March 17, 2016. Warrandyte, Victoria, Australia. Have just today harvested my backyard garden and my corn is beautiful, the kernels are full and juicy and so flavoursome. Freshly cooked and smothered with butter, yum.


Good on ya, Wayne! Are you having us on for tucker?! Make room for ten and we’ll bring the tatties! You’re killing us here, where snow’s forecast for Sunday–Monday. We’re all “ears” to hear your season’s off and running!

New to backyard farming

My husband and i bought some walmart seeds about 3 weeks ago. We hand tilled and mixed in compost/manure into native soil (southwest texas by rio grand river). We planted per instructions on package, 3 seeds per hole at 13in apart. We have 4 rows of 5 holes. Seedlings todat are about 2-1/2in tall now and I wanted to know how do i thin and how do i know which seedlings are the ones to keep? Any info greatly appreciated!

New to backyard farming

If you have 3 small plants you would pick the one that looks the strongest and discard the other 2. After the stalks get between knee and Hip height you can plant some pole beans around the bottom of the corn stalks and the bean plant will climb the stalk and that way you save garden space. You can also grow squash on the ground around the corn and that will help keep weeds out of the bed and again that saves garden space. Happy gardening!

Thinning seedlings

Chose seedlings not for height but for heartiness, look for 2nd and 3rd sets of leaves, rich green color, stem sturdiness. To thin them out, use scissors to cut off stem at ground level. Never pull them up because it could damage the tender roots of the plant you are keeping. Always handle seedlings you're transplanting by the leaves, never the stem. Preferably by the root ball. Good luck!

new to farming

I am the executive director of a nonprofit foundation opening later this year in San Antonio, Texas. We want to bring homeless vets out and have them work the land we are going to buy. We are looking for about 200-500 acres to use for farming and horse recreational/therapy. We want to grow corn, spinach, pumpkins, and cotton. My business partners and I would appreciate any advice you can give and any recommendations. Thank you in advance.

hello !david if you don't

hello !david if you don't mind i will invite you to visit here in philippines. you plant so many as you can.we will have an acres to be able for planting


Hello, I'm planning to start a farm in Africa and the primary crop I will be growing is corn, I will like to get in contact with farmers that grow corn if possible because they may have some used equipment I will need and also some advises.

We have all type of farming

We have all type of farming equipment in Johannesburg what are you looking to get very cheap I am

awesome cite

awesome cite

My corn looks beautiful, 9'

My corn looks beautiful, 9' tall, vigorous plants with big cobs. But, it tastes so bad, mushy and not sweet, did I not water enough or did we harvest too late?

Hi Sue, It sounds like you

Hi Sue,
It sounds like you let the cobs stay on the plants too long. The trick is to check the cobs when they start fill out and the tassels turn brown. The kernels should be round and milky but still crisp.

Most of the sweencorn plants

Most of the sweencorn plants have some cobs coming, but some which we have grown in a very large container have no cobs at all. These are very strong plants and have lush green leaves but no cobs, Could you please tell me what I have done wrong.



Good day! I had a wonderful

Good day! I had a wonderful harvest of corn this year and have run into the end of my growing cycle and have harvested all of my corn as it started to get the starch flavor. Is it possible to plant again at this time of year (August 14th) and get a second yield? I am a newbie gardener and apologize if this question is non-sensible but everything i have looked at only really states when to plant your one crop for the summer. Just wondering if i could get lucky with a late fall crop or if it is a waste of time and i should plant something else. I have optimum soil / light etc and had the stalks above my shoulder by July 4th this year. "Knee high by 4th of July" didn't apply to my crop at all. Am i crazy? I'm in New Hampshire. Would appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks!

Hi Nick, Glad to hear about

Hi Nick,
Glad to hear about your successful corn crop! August is a bit too late to be planting a second crop in NH since the first expected frost is around Sept. 20. It would be better to plant some frost-hardy cole crops or lettuce in their place.

We planted a few rows of corn

We planted a few rows of corn in the garden, and somehow the stalks got bent over (we suspect it was the sparrows who were jumping up and down on them.) Now instead of standing straight up with the tassels at the top, some are bent, above where the ear is growing. Our question is, will this affect the growth of the ears? We tried propping them up but it doesn't really work. Thanks so much.

Hi Karen, Bent stalks and

Hi Karen,
Bent stalks and tassels can also be signs of corn borer damage. If you already have ears growing your corn may be doing OK with no need to straighten the stalks.

I planted corn in containers

I planted corn in containers It tasseled out and not one ear of corn on about 30 stalks. Why?

We are located in southeast

We are located in southeast Tennessee and for the first time planted some sugar baby corn. We have just eight stalks and they were doing great, a couple of ears on each, verying in size. Each ear had beards of silk and looked great. We left town for week and there were heavy rains most every day, when we returned all the silk is brown, even on the very smallest, one just barely a few inches long with a few silk strands. We didn't realize the need to count days to harvest but it has been around sixty days. I picked a few of the larger ears and had no bugs and kernels plump and popped with finger nail test, all seams to be good except for the question of the remaining ears. Will the ears continue to grow to maturity even though the silk is brown? Was this caused by all the rain?

When the silk turns brown the

When the silk turns brown the kernals are getting close to being ripe. The small cobs are probably not going to grow much bigger. You need to check the kernels for ripness before you harvest the last of your corn. The rain did not turn the silk brown.

Thank You, Almanac Staff, for

Thank You, Almanac Staff, for you response!

My friend came back today and

My friend came back today and looked at our garden. She saw the tassels on top of our corn stalks and said we were suppose to cut them off when they first come out to help the corn. Is this true?

I hope you didn't detassel

I hope you didn't detassel your sweet corn. The tassel is what pollinates your corn so an ear will grow so you need to leave it on the plant.

Some farmers will cut off the

Some farmers will cut off the silk to about 1 to 2 inches above the corn top to get all the silk the same length to pollinate every silk (you get the full cob of kernels) by hand then but you must use a paper bag to gather the pollen, dump it on the silk then put the bag over the cob stapling the bag together at the bottom. Hope this helps :-)

I understand that sweetcorn

I understand that sweetcorn has different growing periods to age of maturity depending on what variety of corn you plant. My question is if I plant 60 day and 75 day corn at the same time, does that give me the proper growing time between germination and pollination for the two different kinds of corn so that there will not be cross pollination, or is it possible the 75 day corn has a shorter germination to pollination time period and therefor cross pollination would be a problem. My example would be: if I plant a 65 day corn and plant popcorn on the same day would that be a problem? ( the popcorn is 105 days to maturity, but I don't know how many days to pollination.

Your two varieties should be

Your two varieties should be OK planted at the same time as the popcorn will tassel later.

Why does my sweet white corn

Why does my sweet white corn only grow 2feet tall and start to produce small ears I planted it in a raised bed with beans, cantaloupe, and marigolds. Every year I try to grow corn and it always fails. Any tips and advice sent to my email will be great

Make sure to fertilize and

Make sure to fertilize and water the corn when it first starts growing. Corn is a heavy feeder. Don't grow the corn too close together, leave at least 8 inches between each plant. Also don't grow the corn too close to the other vegetables.

This is a nice post

This is a nice post

thank you

thank you

I have corn up and fixing to

I have corn up and fixing to thin out...Can you put the ones you thin in the ground somewhere eles to grow?

When thinning, it's best not

When thinning, it's best not to pull the thinnings out of the ground (pinch instead), because it might disturb the roots of the seedlings that you want to keep. Some gardeners, though, do replant thinnings after pulling them up and have had success, while others find that most of their transplants don't survive. Corn can be fussy about having its roots disturbed, so be very careful about handling the transplants. If you do transplant them, place thinnings in a block together (using recommended spacing) in order for best wind pollination.

Question: My seed packaging


My seed packaging instructions said to plant 3 seeds for each whole I planted. I now have 3 seedlings growing strong in each whole I planted. By thining, does that mean I should only leave the "best" looking seedling in the ground and remove the other 2 seedlings?

Yes. Follow the recommended

Yes. Follow the recommended spacing for your crop. For those seedlings that you wish to remove, pinch or prune the stems off at the soil surface--be careful not to injure surrounding seedlings. It's best not to pull the seedlings out, or you may disturb the roots of the seedling you are planning to keep. Keep the seedling that looks the healthiest--thick stem (not lanky), good color, healthy leaves.

Can I grow corn in between

Can I grow corn in between bamboo plants? The bamboo won't pollinate the corn, right?

I have tried growing corn but

I have tried growing corn but I always end up with this Styrofoam looking stuff from the stalk and ear. I have tried it in two homes and the same. I cant find what this is.

It sounds like you may have

It sounds like you may have corn smut. Look at different seeds and try to find one that is resistant to corn smut.

I got raccoons that are

I got raccoons that are really annoying at night I hear them running in the trees like there getting chased away from something else and what ever that thing is it's chewing away my ears before I can get to them. What can I do to stop these little bandits and also do ants bother the corn cause by the end of August there everywhere in the yard is the something I can do to stop them as well?

If it helps, here are our

If it helps, here are our tips on managing raccoons in the garden, especially when it comes to corn:

Iam putting in a garden this

Iam putting in a garden this spring, fairly good size... 40" by 100",, i broke new groung in the fall and tilled under, planning on growing a variety of vegtables.corn, peppers, beans ,ect...i tilled in compost with chicken manure... question is ;; how do you keep the deer out of the garden ?

Hi, Bill, Our best advice for

Hi, Bill,
Our best advice for deer in the garden is probably that of our readers and the users of this site. (Some of their ideas are ones we've proposed  to them!). Here are a few of readers' recommendations for dealing with deer in the garden:
• A low (2ft) wire mesh, such as chicken wire, will deter small animals. If you have deer in the area place an additional high (3ft) wire or string 3ft outside the low fence and tie some rag flags to it. The deer will not jump the high fence and low fence both. Something about the combination makes them wary of being trapped. Use rot-resistant wood posts.
• Look for coyote urine at your garden supply store or online. Rodents won't come within yards of the smell. It's also good for fending off deer and other nuisance critters without harming them.
• I found the best thing for deer is human hair. This is very easy to get and free. You can go to just about any salon and ask for clippings. The longer hair works best. Then you just decorate like tinsle on a tree. The hair smells like us. This helps with just about any anilmal. Slugs can't cross hair either. (See if your local barber will save a bag of hair clippings for you, scatter it around your garden.)
• Deer hate fishing pole string. They can't see it so when they feel it scares them off. If you put up poles around the edge of your garden and string it around it should take care of the problem.
• I have a lot of deer, I found that by planting rosemary helps but I also found rosemary oil which is fantastic for keeping the deer away from my veggies and flowers
 I have heard that if you put a bar of Irish Spring soap in your garden the deer will not come near it. I would assume that with 1/2 an acre you would need a few.
Good luck!
• Hair clippings do help. Also randomly placing old knee high stockings containing Irish Spring soap shavings helps, as does hanging pie pans around. I think the key to any of these home remedies is not to use the same method for too long at the time. Rotate the remedy when you see deer venturing back into the forbidden territory.
All of these suggestions are at the bottom of this page:

I use a small cheese grater

I use a small cheese grater for Ivory soap. The original kind. At least one bar or more if needed , I've been using this method for about 4 yrs now & it's never failed me. Hope this helps..

Fill a 5 gal. bucket about

Fill a 5 gal. bucket about full of water. Break and mix in the water 6 or 8 eggs. Let stand a week or so, mixing everyday or so. Water will start to stink, put in sprayer and spray areas as desired. Deer don't like the smell, and stay away. Works for me.

Regarding Deer in your

Regarding Deer in your garden, I put 5 gallon white buckets in and around my garden. My garden is about 50 x 100 and I put about 7. Also for safety put them upside down so small children do not fall in them and so water will not collect and breed mosquitos. I also move them around a once in awhile. They are not pretty but it has worked for me to keep deer away I also have a radio on a timer to play a talk radio program most of the nite.

We have an absurdly large

We have an absurdly large herd of voracious deer in our area. There have been 2 effective efforts. One is a fence. A black heavy netting is almost invisible. Also, a motion detector impact sprinkler. There is one on the market called Scarecrow. It is very effective. It is also fun when your kid's friends come over on a hot day warn them.

If you look this up on utube

If you look this up on utube you will find this to be true. All you need are T posts and 30lb fishing line. String the fishing line at 2 feet high, 3.5 feet high and at the top of your T posts and you will keep the deer out!

My dad used to plant sweet

My dad used to plant sweet corn; then, after a period of time he would plant Kentucky white half-runner green beans close to the corn. The beans would grow up the corn. Is this unusual? It seemed to work for him; by the way, he was a big Farmers Almanac fan !!!

Wouldn't the beans (the one's

Wouldn't the beans (the one's that would wrap around corn) suffocate the corn? If not, how far apart should the corn be from the beans? Can u plant in a row corn, beans, corn, peas, etc.?

Planting corn and green beans

Planting corn and green beans together has been a long tradition among the indians. Add squash around the beans and you have what is called "3 sisters garden"

It was also called 'Milpa',

It was also called 'Milpa', bean plants provide nitrogen and squash plants create shade for the soil helping it preserve moisture.

The corn provides a natural

The corn provides a natural trellis for the green bean vine to cling to for support. The green bean plant takes nitrogen from the air and deposits it into its root system making the soil rich in nitrogen. Corns need nitrogen and they get this from the nitrogen provided by the green bean plants. Your Dad was way ahead of all the "Organic Farmers" in planting corns and green beans together. When he harvests the green beans, especially when the corns are tassling and silking; he is helping in the corn pollination process. Every time he bumps into a corn plant; millions of pollen from the tassel will fall and some of the pollen will land into the silk and pollinate the corn. For a detailed information on the subject you may check the subject: Nitrogen Fixation - Rhizobia

is there at anytime pryor to

is there at anytime pryor to harvest that I should stop watering? My concern is root rot with too much water.

We planted our garden this

We planted our garden this year on memorial day ( we are in central NY state near albany). All purchased plants. This is our first year attempting corn (the kids wanted to plant like indians) so we have 1 squash plant in the center of a square of 4 bean plants about 9 to 12 inches away from the squash and then the corn farthest out a few inches from the beans. I am noticing after all this time that the corn is now 3 to 4 feet tall and a few are starting to tassle (I think - it looks like seeds popping from the top) no ears yet though. Is this correct? Also, the sqaush plants are not doing as well as the ones we planted elsewhere by themselves. The beans are about as high as the corn and are producing already. I have probably 15 to 20 beans per plant so far. Can I start picking the beans or should I wait until they are all finished growing? (1st time for beans also)

It sounds like you were

It sounds like you were aiming to plant the "three sisters"—corn, beans, and pumpkin or squash. And, from what you describe, it sounds like you did it in reverse. See here for advice on doing this:
We do not recommend removing and transplanting the corn at this point. Corn typically needs to be planted in blocks to pollinate effectively and it is not clear that your stalks are close enough. (The cluster described for the Three Sisters is block, albeit a small one.)
Hard to know what's up with the squash.
Pick the beans that are ready as that will encourage more.

Thanks for the info! Next

Thanks for the info! Next time we will do it the right way!

We grow a large gardwn evwry

We grow a large gardwn evwry year here in carson city nv. Corn make s up half . 7ft. Nice even ears. 2 yrs ago. A bunch came up on its own. We let it grow also plantedmuch more. The volanteers looked great. Then tasseled and grew runt at three feet. The plantwd corn grew great im told monsano alters thwre seed preventing making seed. So this year we wanted to grow organic and eventully cultivate our own seed strain so we did all organic sweet nice stalk looks very good 3ft summer just started. Oh hell no itw all tasseled out at 3 an a half feet. Loosing colur. Yea it maturing. Whats going on

Three-foot-high corn with

Three-foot-high corn with only a spike tassel and no sign of an ear is an indication of barren soil. (Are you rotating the corn?) Do a soil test to check for missing nutrients. Your local coop extension should be able to help you.

My maize plants are growing

My maize plants are growing well (in London UK), but the stems are bifurcating. Should these bifurcations be lopped off, or should I let these grow?

please tell me how to keep

please tell me how to keep squerils out of my garden they eat my peaches

An aluminum pan with sliced

An aluminum pan with sliced cucumber will keep squirrels away. It works for me in my garden. they don't dig!

.22 long rifle works great. I

.22 long rifle works great. I am in the city limits, so I use what are called "quiets." These little cartridges are powderless, so they are not even as loud as a pellet gun.

Do you sucker your corn or

Do you sucker your corn or just let it go?

In a healthy crop, removing

In a healthy crop, removing the suckers, also called tillers, makes little difference to the harvest yield or health of the plant, since they usually appear later in the season and can't compete with the main stalk. Their formation may indicate healthy conditions; some varieties tend to form suckers more often. If the crop had been damaged early in the season, or the plants are widely spaced, a corn plant may respond by growing suckers; in these cases, sometimes those suckers will produce harvestable ears. Otherwise, in a healthy, closely spaced crop, they won't usually.
If you'd like to remove suckers, only do so when they are very small, to prevent damage to the stalk; removing them when they are larger will weaken the plant and invite insects and diseases.
For more information, you might be interested in:

I live in middle Tennessee

I live in middle Tennessee and I wanted to know if it's too late to plant late corn. How long from planting should I expect to harvest? Thanks so much!

Planting corn before June 1

Planting corn before June 1 is ideal for good yield in your area.  The dates of maturity depend on the variety but they range from 45 days to 75 days.

Sybil, I'd say go for it! As

Sybil, I'd say go for it! As mine is just starting to silk and will likely harvest in less than 2 weeks, the summer has barely begun! As always, keep the soil loose, plant in blocks'ish (mine is 8 rows of 14 ears each) where you have good ventilation, and mulch after germination. Following a tip from old NC farmers, I plant mine 2 to a hole, 18"apart and rows spaced at 36". I DO NOT THIN! Our garden was prepped with rabbit manure, then I side-dressed with 10-10-10 ONCE. Our corn is over 7' tall, with three ears on each.Good Luck.

Ooops, did I mention that I

Ooops, did I mention that I am on the central KY border in TN via NC and originally from Keene, NH. So, I have picked up a few tips here and abouts!

I have a lot of extra sweet

I have a lot of extra sweet corn left from my resent planting first time out as a farmer. what can I do for storage so I can use it next year ..thank you for any help

Keep the leftover seeds in

Keep the leftover seeds in the packet they came in. Place the packet inside of a zip-close plastic bag. Store the bag in the freezer.

My garden was a bust this

My garden was a bust this Spring. Very poor germination for garden seeds, very successful germination for weeds.
I turned most of it under, and am planning to replant corn, squash, and beans.
I have planted squash and beans this late (mid June), and had a decent harvest, but I have never plated corn this late.
What are my chances?
I am in between Fort Worth and Waco Texas.

Corn germination occurs in

Corn germination occurs in soil with temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees F. If the soil temperature rises above 85 degrees F, corn may not germinate well and production may be stunted.

I have had problems with my

I have had problems with my corn and my broccoli. 1st the corn; I grow corn in 15 foot rows 12- 18 inches apart and I have one section where the rows are a total of three rows spread a total of ten ft wide. I have another section of two rows two feet apart 12ft long and 12-18 inches apart. some of the corn stop growing at about four feet and start producing silk. this in turn leads to small ears. on two rows that are 15ft long, the rows are approx. 2 1/2 feet wide so I therefore make two rows within the one row. some corn grows to full ht and some don't. what am I doing wrong. now to my broccoli. I grow broccoli all the time and this is the first time where I bought the plants already growing; about 6inches high. I planted them 18 inches apart in three rows 7 feet long. that are 2 1/2 feet apart (a total of fifteen plants. this year they started sprouting heads when the plants were only 1-2 feet tall and the heads never really matured, the heads started spreading out and budding when the plants were only 2 feet tall. what did I do wrong? I know you are busy so I will wait for your response with that in mind and will be patient in your answers. please email me with the answer if possible.


There are several possible

There are several possible causes for the uneven corn in your garden. Weather (too dry or too wet; warm and then a sudden cold spell) or your soil may have low pH. Test the soil and correct low pH by adding limestone . Phosphorus deficiency sometimes caused by wet, cold soil can also cause uneven growth.
Excessive heat is the main reason for loose shaggy broccoli heads. Planting too early in the spring can also cause heads to mature too early. Temperatures below 40 degrees F cause young plants to bolt. Drought conditions or fluctuating moisture will also cause broccoli heads to loosen. Some varieties bolt quicker than others.

For the first time I wanna

For the first time I wanna grow the maize.. I don't have any idea about it. I need ur assistance....

Please see our growing advice

Please see our growing advice at the top of this page.

Your information on the

Your information on the spacing of the sweet corn plants was extremely useful. In European books on gardening I have found a great deal of misinformation, even in otherwise very informative books. I have usually been quite successful for two reasons. First, I plant cover crops of winter rye in the previous fall and turn it under (by hand) in March. Second, I use a liquid fertilizer made from stinging nettles and comfrey several times during the summer. Our summer monsoon comes at the right time in July, although the temperatures remain in the low 70-80s. Sweet corn from one's own garden is a real treat!

Trying to grow a hybrid on

Trying to grow a hybrid on deck sweet corn seed in a 24 inch pot. Seedlings emerge healthy and grow to approximately 3 inches and then the leaves shrivel and the seedling dies. Leaves seem to be of a light brown color post-mortem. Any advice or recommendation for successful growing? Thank you in advance.

We haven't tested this

We haven't tested this variety though we've heard mixed reviews about its germination success. Sometimes there is stunted growth because the soil isn't above 55 degrees. Also keep soil on the drier side and go with the wider spacing. We do think the germination may be a product issue, not yours.

this year i have grown corn

this year i have grown corn and will have the advices from u all thanks it might help me ,will have good crop i hope ,thanks ,zeenat

when the ears begin to silk

when the ears begin to silk drop a couple of drops of mineral oil on the silk.

I live in south east Georgia.

I live in south east Georgia. The soil here is really sandy. I want to plant a garden with a variety of different vegetables and fruits. I am really worried about the soil, but I can't afford to go buy special soil to mix in to the soil we already have. Is this going to be a problem for my garden? Also our neighbor has like thirty cats that hang around his house. I am worried about the cats getting into the garden and killing my plants. They climb fences and so fencing it off wont really help. How can I keep the cats out without harming the cats? Thank you for any help you can give me!!!

Mix in compost, compost and

Mix in compost, compost and more compost. Lots of recycling centers have compost for free. And if you haven't got enough compost, just add any dead organic material as it becomes available (like dead leaves as a mulch, some dried manure etc). It will eventually break down, and improve the soil quality.
In terms of your neighbor's cats in the garden:
Some readers say to try spraying a solution of a little cayenne and water.  It's nontoxic to the animals, doesn't hurt the plants, cats hate the smell. Reapply after rain.
You could also try placing moth balls around the edges of your garden.
There are also commercial cat repellents that you can get at garden centers or online at pet supply stores and gardening supply centers. Make sure that the repellent that you get is safe for any children, plants, pets, or other animals etc. that may be around. 

Everything I see on corn says

Everything I see on corn says to plant them close together and to then thin them out when they are 4 inches tall or so. The seed pack says plant 4" apart then thin to 12" this sits says plant 9"-12" apart then thin to 16"-23" apart when 4" tall. Why plane them so close together to start? Is this when the pollination occurs? I thought it occurred in a more mature plant. Any information would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Definitely follow the

Definitely follow the direction on your seed packet.  Spacing depends on the variety of corn you are planting. Also we adjusted our spacing on this page after viewing more typical sweet corn varieties.
The reason that we plant extra seeds is because some do not germinate--plus you want to thin out the poorer seedings, saving the best plant from each spot.
Pollination happens once you have the silks. We plant it blocks of rows instead of a long, single row because corn is wind-pollinated and the pollen would distribute better this way.
I hope we're answering your question! All the best with some juicy garden-fresh corn!

This is packed with

This is packed with information, However, after going through the information I could not find how long it takes to develop from planting to maturity.

It depends on the variety,

It depends on the variety, but the days to maturity are usually about 65 to 75 days. 

we have red wing black birds

we have red wing black birds invade our corn and eating the top of the ears and found ears eaten on the ground. we have tried to scare them off by: yelling, running toward garden, fake snakes, fake owl, wind mills, AND PIE PANS TIED TO POST. PLEASE HELP WITH SOME IDEALS OF KEEPING THE RED WING BLACK BIRDS OUT OF THE GARDEN????????/ THANK YOU

We understand! Here is a very

We understand! Here is a very helpful page on how to deter redwing blackbirds from your sweet corn:
What often is most effective is a combination of visual and auditory deterrants. For example, combine scare-eye balloons with auditory repellents like shellcrackers or distress calls.

we have always had good luck

we have always had good luck hanging wind chimes and refelectors about to keep birds away from the garden

My remedy serves two

My remedy serves two purposes! I went to the dollar-type store and bought 2 dozen very shiny red whirly twirler things (stop laughing, you know what I mean) and fashioned them up on my fence perimeter (40x30). Not only does the movement and slapping noise deter birds, but you will have a moment or two to remember something pleasant while you are toiling about!

i have harvested some great

i have harvested some great corn from our veggie patch in temperate sydney (Australia) can I keep the plants going or should I remove them all and start again?

What is the optimal pH for

What is the optimal pH for sweet Corn?

Sweet corn will adapt to a

Sweet corn will adapt to a wide range of soil pH. However, optimum growth is obtained at pH 6.0 to 6.5.

Can I start the corn inside?

Can I start the corn inside? If so when should I start it

I've heard of people growing

I've heard of people growing dwarf corn varieties, but for normal sweet corn, you need full sun plus it pollinates best when sown in a block, so for planting, a minimum area of a 4-foot-square is required.

You can if you want to. Right

You can if you want to. Right now, I am using sweet corn for my science project. The corn that has grown the best is the corn that I have exposed to a homemade CO2 formula that is indoors and under a heat lamp. So far, my corn is 4.5 feet high!

Delores, it's simply not

Delores, it's simply not worth it unless you have a very big area. But my experience is that corn will be happy enough to stay where they are born, remaining in the same soil (house) and in the same environment (family). If you do, plan on transplanting your 4-7" seedlings after the ground has warmed and the air temps remain above 62ish, otherwise you may lose them to less-than-optimal conditions. Good luck, stay dirty!

Every year, I bring the

Every year, I bring the family together and we pick until about 10AM. Then, we chop both ends of the ear about an inch or so back, shuck down to the last layer of corn shuck, and stack in the freezer. No more prep! Last year we put up 400+ ears in this fashion and had fresh corn on the cob all year long! It doesn't spoil, doesn't freezer burn,and it tastes like it just came from the garden! When it's eating time, just drop the ears into a pot w/ a pinch or so of salt and boil for 15-20 minutes! Then, remove the remainder of the shuck and eat! I've used this method for 20+yrs and have never had a single problem!

Does the corn really taste

Does the corn really taste fresh? I've tried freezing corn on the cob after picking, both shucked and unshucked and the problem is the corn seems soggy when we cook it later, not the plump fresh picked texture and flavor we had hoped for.

Try Bodacious corn. It

Try Bodacious corn. It freezes well. The trick is to blanche the corn before freezing it. Shuck the corn, then put ears in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, then drain and immediately plunge into ice water (this stops the enzyme growth that makes the corn soggy). I use a medium size cooler to fill with ice water

i have multi coloured

i have multi coloured sweetcorn growing and wandering now my sweetcorn has a very pink beard haha when will it be ready to harvest ...and any other colour i grow really what is the best way to know they are ready to eat......thank you

After those silky strands

After those silky strands appear, you'll harvest in about 20 days. Wait until the silks become dry and brown and the kernels are smooth, plump and pop open when punctured with a thumbnail. Some ears mature more quickly than others.

Ok Im from Southern Colorado

Ok Im from Southern Colorado and noticed that on here it dose not show a plant in door date for corn. I start my Corn indoors to help with growth and an earlier maturing date. I start my corn one month
(beginning of May) and always have a better crop than everyone else that plants out doors from seed. I plant my corn starts in the garden one week after suggested planting date. Try it you might like the results.

I live in arizona. My corn is

I live in arizona. My corn is growing well but I can't stop the lizards from eating it. What can I due to stop them.

It may give you relief to

It may give you relief to know the lizards are actually eating the insects and not trying to eat the corn. Lizards cause no measurable damage to plants in gardens and should be left alone.

My corn has ants and aphids.

My corn has ants and aphids. Is the corn safe to eat?


The ants are probably there

The ants are probably there because of the aphids. They shouldn't be a problem but you can blast some insecticidal soap spray to get rid of the aphids and the ants will move on. As long as you are not using chemicals, just wash off your harvest and it is safe to eat.

Does Candy Corn have

Does Candy Corn have yellowish white tassles or reddish brown tassles. I planted Candy Corn & Bodacious and can't remember which is which.

Kandy Korn has a white silk

Kandy Korn has a white silk and easily to spot because it's a bit colorful with red and green color on the husks and stalks. Its ears grow a little bigger (about 9 inches versus 8 inches for Bodacious). It takes lonerg to get to maturity (91 versus 75 days). Bodacious is one of our favorite yellow corns. Enjoy!

Hello:) How late can I plant

Hello:) How late can I plant corn in NJ? I want a mini cornfield for a fall decoration, so a bumper crop is not a concern. I just want some decent looking stalks for decoration. Thanks:)

In New Jersey, sweet corn is

In New Jersey, sweet corn is usually planted in April and can go as late as early July. The days from germination to harvest usually range 70 to 80 days, but it all depends on the variety. Visit your local garden store and see if they have a seed packet and the days to maturity are on the back. There may be some quick-growing varieties that are 60 days.

I have serious one here. I

I have serious one here. I shucked my sweet corn at 10am. I had it laying on the counter for the whole day until 6pm. Can the sweetness avaporate and not be sweet corn anymore? Can it turn into regular corn? The farmer I got it from said its the best sweet corn he has had for 10 yrs.

"Sweet corn" is a variety of

"Sweet corn" is a variety of corn so that won't change. However, the corn turns from sugar to starch very quickly (within 24 hours). This is why the old adage was "start the water boiling, run to the patch, pick and husk the corn, run back to the pot, cook the corn, and eat or process immediately." Put corn in the refrigerator right away to keep it cool, not on the counter. If you can't eat corn from the garden, try to eat it within 24 hours of being picked. If that's not feasible, eat within a day or two.

How long can we expect our

How long can we expect our corn to last... I sell roadside and want to know when the corn is no longer sellable..... thanks

People take the trouble to

People take the trouble to grow corn because corn really tastes best straight from the garden. If that's not possible, corn tastes freshest within 24 hours because most varieties convert their sugar to starch after that. Otherwise, try to use the corn within 1 to 2 days and do not husk until just prior to cooking. Put corn in the fridge as soon as possible so it keeps. You can also freeze corn. See our blog:

My corn is tall and has baby

My corn is tall and has baby cobs on it. I feel like it has stopped growing and they are starting to turn brown on the top tussels and the silk around the top of the cobs.Can I still save them so my cobs will get fatter?I added manure in early june The bottoms are turning color reddish brown too.

Not sure that you are going

Not sure that you are going to get fatter corn. Try hilling soil from between the rows around the stalks. This causes the corn to send out more roots and may help the cobs grow bigger.

Each corn stock has two ears,

Each corn stock has two ears, one mature and the second, lower ear mostly immature. Is there anything useful that can be done with these immature ears?

Pick the mature corn and

Pick the mature corn and leave the second immature corn on the stalk to finish growing.

full tassels for about ten

full tassels for about ten days, but no silks present for pollination... what's up?

Tassels do appear before the

Tassels do appear before the silk. But if it's been 10 days you should see some silk by now. Check your corn for insects. They may have eaten the silk. Or, little or no water when tassles and silk are developing can cause problems.

Microwaving Corn on the Cob.

Microwaving Corn on the Cob. I prepare corn on the cob by microwaving the cobs intact for 2 min per cob. Then cut off the stalk end and the corn either slides out silk free or peels very easily. Tasty and easy to do.

the top 3-4 inches of my

the top 3-4 inches of my sweet corn has popped open. the stalks look good no worms that i csn see. but now tge ears are ruined. what am i doing wrong.

Hi Laine, Are you saying that

Hi Laine, Are you saying that the ears didn't develop? When corn doesn't develop kernels at the top, there are a variety of reasons:  Did you plant too close?  Corn prefers to be planted 9 inches to one foot apart. Is your corn getting enough potassium and nitrogen? If your soil isn't providing this, fertilize. Did you plant enough rows? (Corn needs to planted in big blocks for good pollinating.) Did you have dry weather during silking? Corn needs contstant water due to its shallow roots; we use a soaker hose. Hope this helps identify the problem and solution.

For corn worms just google

For corn worms just google corn worms.. Spray Bacillus thuringiensis, an organic control for caterpillars, when silks turn brown to prevent corn ear worms from entering. Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt) is a bacteria and is safe to use around children and pets. next you can Mix molasses and pyrethrin bait and paint around the base of corn plants to kill the adults as they emerge from the soil. Pyrethrin is an organic pesticide made from a variety of chrysanthemum.

Other things that insects hate are jalapeno juice sprayed on plants and borax powder sprinkled about also mostly harmless to people in small to moderate amounts but all sorts of bugs run for the hills.

Falling over could also be because of poor soil depth corn goes pretty deep like 3 feet so if you have hard or shallow roots they cannot support a 10-12 foot plant upright so consider getting an auger for the planting holes which you fill with sand and good composted soil

just pluck the worms out with

just pluck the worms out with tweezers. thats what i spent an hour doing today, but it will be worth it. i had 2 to 3 worms per ear, so im glad i did this, otherwise i may not of had any corn for myself.

My G90 sweet corn is taller

My G90 sweet corn is taller than I am and is now beginning to tossel out at the top of the stalk, but still no ears are forming, what is the problem.

Hi, Gary, G90 is a late

Hi, Gary, G90 is a late producer. Give it some time. How far apart did you plant? If planting was a bit thick, it may just slow down development as silks are 90% water. Give it some water and we hope you'll see something within a week or so.

Just keep waiting,i waited a

Just keep waiting,i waited a long time for my ears to grow too and after a while they grew .

for the second year in a row

for the second year in a row my corn crop has been knocked down by high winds and much rain. This year I tried to protect the corn early but it had grown to a height of about 3 to 4 ft and it is now laying flat on the grown. What am Idoing wrong? Is my planting not correct or just bad luck? If I leave alone will the stalks stand back up under the sun? Totally frustrated.

That's unfortunate, to say

That's unfortunate, to say the least. This is called stalk lodging, and it is relatively common. If the stalk is not broken, it might recover.
Lodging has three main causes: severe weather, European corn borer, and stalk rot disease. Expert advise suggests reducing stress in the corn field by, for example, choosing the proper hybrid, plant population, providing adequate moisture at critical times, insect control, and crop rotation. Since you mention that this is the second year in a row this has happened, consider crop rotation: Is this the same field used last year? Failure to properly rotate crops can contribute to their vulnerability.
Also consider contacting your local agricultural extension service for advice specific to your region. Best wishes.

i have this happen every

i have this happen every year. I just go and stand them back up by hand and mound dirt up at the base . Then just wait for them to recover . I have seen farmers fields where an entire section is knocked over , ugly but docent look to effect production.

This happens to me every year

This happens to me every year as well. I live in a spot where winds whip through and can be severe. I was hoping for a solution here. I have corn lying down at the moment. So discouraging - this is maybe the fifth year. I have a decent sized garden, but not fields to rotate crops. I guess I will try more steady watering next year. Love corn, and it grows well for me, it just always gets blown down. Tired of this outcome.


Thanks for idea


No just suck them with a vacuum no put what ever fertilizer you said


We planted our corn and they got about 2 feet tall then stopped growing, we have a few corn on the stalk, but they look miniature. Is this a failure of not watering enough?

It may be a pollination

It may be a pollination issue. Corn grows best in a block system--four short rows instead of long individual rows--as the pollen (which is carried by wind) can better reach the silk to fill out the ears. At this stage, you could try hand pollinating by rubbing the tassles on the new silk. Also, corn is a heavy feeder and drinker. Side dress your crop with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

My corn is doing something

My corn is doing something similar. We have about 8 rows at 120ft length per row, Rows spaced about 2-2.5ft apart. So basically it would be a 120'x20' area of nothing but corn. However, one end of the thrives and produces so absolutely beautiful with full, bright 6-8ft stalks. The middle part on the other end will be yellow and some only make it to a foot, then stop, where others make it to about 3ft then stop. Then (occasionally) we will get to the absolute end with medium 4-6ft stalks and those vary each planting. That end always does the worst. Thought it might be the soil on that end, but nothing is being done any different on one end or the other. Is it possible that the rows are too long and not getting enough wind to pollinate? The surroundings on each end make it believable. The pretty end is closer to my house and lots of open land, the other end is close to brush and woods (there is a dirt road with ditches between garden and woods). I am trying to figure out if I need to reorganize my rows this year or have the soil tested again?

Wormy corn

I had my first garden in years last year. My biggest problem was worms in my corn. Every single ear I harvested had a worm eating it from the top. Somebody help me!

wormy corn

Sounds as if you have corn-ear worm. Be sure to rotate to a new spot of earth this year. Wait 'til the ears start to fill out (AFTER the pollen gets to the silks) and put 1 or 2 drops of mineral oil on the silks. Hope this helps.

You may have waited too late

You may have waited too late to plant the corn. The later you plant, the problems you have with worms.

wormey corn

U could try using mineral oil(small amount) on silk cuz the moths lay their eggs on the silk an when they hatch they start to eat right away. I tried it 1 year. It seems like alot of trouble but it does work for the most part


Ask a farmer about the spray they put on their corn that discourages worms from eating the ears of corn.

product called "

product called " Sevin"
treats most garden pest
i have used for this exact reason

when the corn starts to silk

when the corn starts to silk drop a few drops of mineral oil on them this will prevent the worms from getting in them

Corn Silk

Corn silk is edible--why bother? You can even fry them like cellophane noodles

shucking corn

The easiest way I know of to get the silk out is to shuck the corn from the bottom. I've done this for eons and I have very little silk left. What is left comes off easily if you use a 'finger nail' brush and gently brush from the base to the tip. This gets any off the corn silk left behind, I do this when washing the ears in the sink

removing silks from ears of corn

A air pick with an air compresor set on about 30 psi does a good job of blowing silks off corn after shucking. But remember high pressure will pucture kernals.

Not removing them

It always doesn't work so try putonghua fertilizer on them or just like suck them with a vacuum


I love to grow corn but worms worms worms keep coming and eating my plant what do I do ??????!!!!!

Just take a pair of tweezers

Just take a pair of tweezers and pluck them out. I spent an hour pulling 2 to 3 worms out per ear. Glad I did because with that many worms per ear I may not have gotten any sweet corn for myself in the end. You should pull your husks down 1 to 2 inches and make sure there aren't several hanging out having brunch. Just take them out and destroy them, then twist tie the tassels back, well, that's what I did, along with some duct taping to ensure closer.

Botanical Name: 

Zea mays

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