The Q&A Archives: Corn

Question: What's the best type of yellow sweet corn for my area and the best time to plant and care for them.

Answer: Wait until soil has warmed considerably (to 60-70F) to plant corn. With El Nino giving us an early spring, you should be able to plant it soon. Corn seed should be planted about 1" deep and thinned to 8"-12" apart in the row. Plant the corn in blocks of 4 to 6 rows to ensure that pollination will occur. Corn loves nitrogen so add lots of compost/aged manure in spring and sidedress the corn with 5-5-5 when it's 4' high, and again at tasseling, to stimulate large ears to grow. It's also a very thirsty crop, so don't let the soil dry out. Mulch helps maintain soil moisture so you don't have to water so often. As for a choice of corn, if you're space is limited so you can grow just one variety, try Burpee's Early Xtra-Sweet. For a list of tried and true varieties for your growing area, contact your county agricultural extension service at 516/454-0900. Enjoy!

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