The Q&A Archives: Can Corn Be Started Indoors To Get A Jump On The Season?

Question: I purchased a packet of your honey and cream corn seed and was wondering if I could start it indoors then transplant it to my garden. I'm in zone 6 I believe, and am concerned that my season may not be long enough.At any rate the sooner I can harvest, the better. I'm relatively new to gardening and have never planted corn before.

Answer: You should have plenty of time for a good corn crop, even if you don't start it indoors. Some gardeners will pregerminate the corn seeds by wrapping them in a barely moist paper towel and wrapping that in plastic so it stays moist and setting it in a warm bright spot away from direct sun (so it won't overheat). Once the seeds germinate simply plant them in the garden. It's best to plant them after all danger of frost and once the soil has had some time to warm up (60 degree soil is good) so they don't rot in cold damp soil. Outside, plant the seed about an inch deep and make sure the soil is moist until they germinate. Corn is generally a heavy feeder so make sure to add ample organic matter and any amendments as indicated by the results of soil tests. Your county extension(350-2540) can help you with the tests and interpreting the results. One final hint, and that is you will need to plant your corn in a block of at least four rows in order to get good pollination and thus a good yield of ears.

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