Sweet corn remains one of the most popular vegetables to grow in a home or backyard garden. Although corn needs a great deal of space to grow, it will grow well in a garden as long as it has the proper soil conditions and access to sufficient water, light, and nutrients like nitrogen. Keeping a few tips on how to grow corn in mind can help even the novice grower avoid several pitfalls when raising this tasty vegetable.
Corn grows best in soil with ample quantities of nitrogen and other nutrients. Prepare the garden the previous year if possible by growing beans, peas or other legumes in the area designated for next year's corn crop. Legumes fix large amounts of nitrogen in the soil, which corn needs to grow properly. After the harvest, mix well-aged manure or compost into the soil to prepare it for the spring planting.
Plant corn in spring when the danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant corn in holes one to two inches deep, spaced twelve to fifteen inches apart. Since corn is pollinated by air, it should be planted in several short rows in a "block" formation rather than in one long row in order to increase pollen transfer among plants. Leave two to three feet between rows. Since seed corn is popular food among small rodents, plant two or three seeds in each hole to better ensure one will develop into a full-fledged cornstalk.
Water the rows thoroughly after planting. Corn needs a great deal of water, especially when weather is dry. Mulch the rows or hoe regularly to control weeds, but take care not to damage the young plants. Fertilize corn when the plants reach about one foot in height. Harvest corn about three weeks after silks have formed on the ears.