GROW A ROW
No Florida garden is complete without a couple of rows
of sweet corn. It is easy to grow, and most people like it.
For planting and care of your sweet corn follow this
simple step by step guide.
VARIETIES TO PLANT:
Yellow: lobelle, Goldcup, Golden Bantam
White: Silver Queen
Step 1. SITE SELECTION
Plant sweet corn in a warm sunny spot.
Do not plant in the shade. Plant them
along with other tall vegetables so small
vegetables will not be shaded too much.
Choose a spot for your corn that is
close to a water supply. Plants will be
stunted and ears small if the soil is
allowed to dry out for several days.
First, remove all trash, weeds or
growing plants from the area where corn
is to be planted. This task requires a
bit of work, so use a gasoline powered
rototiller if available. If not, use a
hoe, spade, or rake. Loosen the soil
so that it will be airy and easy to work.
F-elorida CoopeAative Extension SeAvice/Floxida ASM Univefsity, Univetsity of Flonida
WHEN TO PLANT:
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Step 3. LIVING
Find out if your soil needs lime.
Ask your agricultural agent to help
you test it. If needed, apply one
quart of dolomite lime per 25 feet of
row. Spread it on the row area and
work into the soil at least three
weeks before planting.
Step 4. FERTILIZING
Use about 4 quarts of 6-6-6, 8-8-8,
or other regular garden fertilizer to
grow a 25 foot row of sweet corn. Do
not apply all at one time. First, at
planting time, spread one quart over the
entire row area. Mix it well with the
soil. Add more beside the plants every
2 weeks as they grow.
Step 5. BEDDING
Plant on a raised bed where there
is danger of flooding. Prepare the
bed after the fertilizer is mixed into
the soil. Use a hoe or rake to make
the bed. Make the bed about 6 inches
high and 2 feet wide.
Step 6. SEEDING
Start your sweet corn by planting
seeds. Plant a quarter pound of seeds
to 100 feet of row. Plant the seeds
about one to two inches deep and 2 to
3 inches apart.
Be sure to keep the soil watered
at planting time, so the seeds will
Step 7. EARLY CULTIVATING & THINNING
When the young seedlings are two
to three inches tall, thin them out by
hand. Leave only one plant every 12
inches. Young weeds growing close to
the corn plants may be pulled by hand
at this time also.
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Add more fertilizer every 2 weeks.
Spread a handful every step or so down
the row. Place the fertilizer 3 or 4
inches beside the plants on top of the
bed. Then lightly mix it into the soil
with a rake, or water it in with the
hose. Always give the soil a good
soaking after sidedressing with ferti-
Step 8. WEEDING
After weeding and thinning by hand,
hoe the area further away from the
plants carefully to remove weeds. Do
not dig deeply into the soil, and cut
A worm (caterpillar) which feeds
in the bud and later in the ear is the
worst pest damaging sweet corn. At
the first sign of worms, spray or dust
the leaves around the stalk with sevin.
When the silks on the ear develop,
spray with sevin also. Apply the in-
secticide every 2 or 3 days to keep
the worms under control.
Step 11. POLLINATION
Corn is pollinated by wind blowing
pollen from the tassels (male parts) on
top of the plants to the silks (female
parts) on the ears. Every silk must re-
ceive a pollen grain, or a plump kernel
will not develop. Make sure pollination
occurs. Plant corn in blocks of two or
more rows together.
Step 12. HARVESTING
The first ear of sweet corn will
be ready to eat about 2 months after
the seed is planted. When the silks
start to turn brown, check to see if
the ears are filled out well. Pull
back the shuck end and check the ker-
nels for juciness and plumpness. You
should get one to two ears per plant.
For more information:
If you need to know more about growing your sweet corn, contact your County
Extension Service office.
Extension Rural Development Specialist
James M. Stephens
Extension Vegetable Specialist
The Cooperative Extension Service of Florida A&M University and University
of Florida offers educational programs, materials and assistance to all people without
regard to race, color, or national origin.
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914
Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS, Florida A&M University, University of Florida
and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
K. R. Tefertiller, Director
This leaflet was promulgated at a cost of $1,661.35, or $0.03 per copy, to provide
Florida home gardeners with information on the planting care of sweet corn.