The Q&A Archives: Corn for a Short Season

Question: I've set aside a sunny spot in my garden to try to grow sweet corn, but we have a cool and short summer here in Juneau. Most of the corn I've seen here is short when it tassles. What do you recommend?

Answer: It can be a challenge to grow heat- and sun-loving corn in regions with short growing seasons or where summers are cool. There are a few varieties that will mature in as few as 65 days, but they still require warm soil and lots of sunshine. You can improve your chances for a crop by pre-warming your soil with a black plastic or IRT (infra-red transmitting) mulch, and planting in a humus-rich, well-drained soil. If you plant your corn in blocks, rather than rows, you'll get better pollination. Pollen falls from the tassles down onto the silks, and if a pollen grain reaches each of the silk strands, the ears of corn will be full of kernels.

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