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General Information

Plant Care Instructions By Julie Bawden-Davis

Corn fresh from the garden is super sweet. This heat-loving vegetable requires considerable garden space in order to get an optimum harvest.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones : 10a, 10b
Web Link - For more information

Plant Care Instruction

  • Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • November
    • December
    January
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.
    February
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.
    March
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.
    2. Sow Seeds

    Sow seeds indoors in a well-draining seed-starting mix. When the seedlings come up, place them in a bright window.
    April
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seeds when available via mail-order or at the nursery. Plants are occasionally available at the nursery.
    2. Plant

    If you find plants, place them 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows, as corn requires adequate cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs.
    3. Sow Seeds

    In a full-sun, well-draining location with rich soil, sow seed 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows. Corn requires cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs. For a continuous harvest, sow seed every 2 to 3 weeks.
    4. Fertilize

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.
    5. Water

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.
    6. Mulch

    Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.
    7. Special requirements

    Avoid planting popcorn near sweet corn, as they will cross-pollinate.
    May
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery. Plants are occasionally available at the nursery.
    2. Plant

    If you find plants, place them 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows, as corn requires adequate cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs.
    3. Sow Seeds

    In a full-sun, well-draining location with rich soil, sow seed 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows. Corn requires cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs. For a continuous harvest, sow seed every 2 to 3 weeks.
    4. Fertilize

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.
    5. Water

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.
    6. Mulch

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.
    7. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for signs of corn earworms, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding.
    8. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.
    9. Harvest

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.
    10. Special requirements

    Avoid planting popcorn near sweet corn, as they will cross-pollinate.
    June
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery. Plants are occasionally available at the nursery.
    2. Plant

    If you find plants, place them 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows, as corn requires adequate cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs.
    3. Sow Seeds

    In a full-sun, well-draining location with rich soil, sow seed 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows. Corn requires cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs. For a continuous harvest, sow seed every 2 to 3 weeks.
    4. Fertilize

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.
    5. Water

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.
    6. Mulch

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.
    7. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for signs of corn earworms, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding.
    8. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.
    9. Harvest

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.
    10. Special requirements

    Avoid planting popcorn near sweet corn, as they will cross-pollinate.
    July
    1. Fertilize

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.
    2. Water

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.
    3. Mulch

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.
    4. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for signs of corn earworms, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding. They are common this month.
    5. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.
    6. Harvest

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.
    August
    1. Fertilize

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.
    2. Water

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.
    3. Mulch

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.
    4. Pest/Disease Inspection

    Check for signs of corn earworm, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding. They are common this month.
    5. Treat for Pest/Disease

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.
    6. Harvest

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.
    September
    1. Water

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.
    2. Harvest

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.
    November
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seeds when available via mail-order or at the nursery.
    December
    1. Buy

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.
  • Buy

    When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

    January

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.

    February

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.

    March

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.

    April

    Buy corn seeds when available via mail-order or at the nursery. Plants are occasionally available at the nursery.

    May

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery. Plants are occasionally available at the nursery.

    June

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery. Plants are occasionally available at the nursery.

    November

    Buy corn seeds when available via mail-order or at the nursery.

    December

    Buy corn seed when available via mail-order or at the nursery.

    Plant

    When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

    April

    If you find plants, place them 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows, as corn requires adequate cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs.

    May

    If you find plants, place them 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows, as corn requires adequate cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs.

    June

    If you find plants, place them 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows, as corn requires adequate cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs.

    Sow Seeds

    When can you plant these seeds? When's the best time? Can you start them indoors and move them out? Do they have any special requirements?

    March

    Sow seeds indoors in a well-draining seed-starting mix. When the seedlings come up, place them in a bright window.

    April

    In a full-sun, well-draining location with rich soil, sow seed 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows. Corn requires cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs. For a continuous harvest, sow seed every 2 to 3 weeks.

    May

    In a full-sun, well-draining location with rich soil, sow seed 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows. Corn requires cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs. For a continuous harvest, sow seed every 2 to 3 weeks.

    June

    In a full-sun, well-draining location with rich soil, sow seed 2 to 3 feet apart in blocks of four side-by-side rows. Corn requires cross-pollination to produce full-sized cobs. For a continuous harvest, sow seed every 2 to 3 weeks.

    Fertilize

    When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

    April

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.

    May

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.

    June

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.

    July

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.

    August

    Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer when the stalks reach 12- to 15-feet-tall; repeat when stalks reach 2- to 2 1/2-feet tall.

    Water

    Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

    April

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.

    May

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.

    June

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.

    July

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.

    August

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.

    September

    Keep plants moist but not soggy. Droughted plants will stop producing.

    Mulch

    Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

    April

    Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.

    May

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.

    June

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.

    July

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.

    August

    Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark to help maintain consistently moist soil.

    Pest/Disease Inspection

    What are the common problems this plant will face and when should you look for them to appear?

    May

    Check for signs of corn earworms, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding.

    June

    Check for signs of corn earworms, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding.

    July

    Check for signs of corn earworms, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding. They are common this month.

    August

    Check for signs of corn earworm, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding. They are common this month.

    September

    Check for signs of corn earworm, which come from moths. The larvae (caterpillars) feed on the corn silks and eventually make their way into the tip of the corn where they continue feeding.They are common this month.

    Treat for Pest/Disease

    How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

    May

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.

    June

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.

    July

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.

    August

    Prevent corn earworm infestations by putting two drops of mineral oil inside the tips of the ears 3 to 7 days after silks appear. Also kill off the worms (caterpillars) by applying the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to the plant.

    Harvest

    When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

    May

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.

    June

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.

    July

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.

    August

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.

    September

    Harvest when the ears are plump and the silks have withered and started to brown. Test for harvest readiness by pulling back the silks to expose the tip of the corn and pricking a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that releases should be milky in color. Watery liquid means the corn is still immature, and very little or thick liquid means that the corn is past its prime. For the sweetest flavor, eat soon after harvest.

    Special requirements

    Any other requirement for this plant? Is there anything that doesn't fit into the other care categories?

    April

    Avoid planting popcorn near sweet corn, as they will cross-pollinate.

    May

    Avoid planting popcorn near sweet corn, as they will cross-pollinate.

    June

    Avoid planting popcorn near sweet corn, as they will cross-pollinate.

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