STARTING CORN - Knowledgebase Question

March 16, 2010
Last yr I waited until the soil was warm before planting corn. Out of about 200 corn kernels, I only got 7 plants. The seed was fresh. Should I start corn before planting or continue to plant directly into the soil?

Answer from NGA
March 16, 2010


Corn really doesn't transplant very well because it develops long, almost tap root type roots. If the roots cannot grow straight down unimpeded, the plants won't grow well. I have had success starting corn seeds in half gallon cardboard milk or juice containers and transplanting them out into the garden but I think its much easier to plant the seeds directly in the garden. You can help the soil warm up a little earlier by hilling up the soil into 6" tall and wide mounds and planting on the top of the mounds. Or you can cover the planting bed with black plastic to help it warm up faster. If you need to plant in late spring, choose short season varieties so you're sure to have a harvest. check the backs of the seed packets to see the days to harvest. Good luck with your corn.

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