All About Growing Sweet Corn

Your all-inclusive guide to growing sweet corn. Read about the sweet corn varieties best suited to home gardens, when and how to plant sweet corn seed, disease and pest prevention, and harvesting and seed saving.

| June/July 2008

  • Sweet Corn
    Everyone loves sweet corn — why not plant your own?
    Illustration by Keith Ward
  • Corn on the Cob
    You can boil, steam or grill full ears, cut off whole kernels or make creamed corn.
    Illustration by Keith Ward

  • Sweet Corn
  • Corn on the Cob

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

Isn’t it time to make mouthwatering sweet corn one of your hit crops this summer? Growing sweet corn requires warm soil (above 65 degrees Fahrenheit) so early summer is prime planting time. To stretch your harvest season, grow both early and midseason sweet corn varieties.

Types of Sweet Corn to Try

Open-pollinated sweet corn varieties offer traditional corn flavor, but rapidly convert sugar to starch, so they must be picked at just the right time. They often require less fertilizer than hybrids, and seeds can be saved from year to year.

Kernels of sugary-enhanced hybrid varieties remain sweet for a week or more, and feature tender texture combined with rich corn flavor.

Super-sweet hybrids produce exceptionally sweet, crisp kernels good for freezing. Super-sweet varieties must be planted at least 30 feet from other types of sweet corn to prevent cross pollination, which ruins their flavor.

Synergistic sweet corn varieties have a balance of sugary-enhanced and super-sweet kernels.

8/5/2017 2:52:11 PM

We started gardening and we were gone wrong. We could not figure out why we were not getting the beautiful vegetables we were hoping for. People suggest to spray chemicals for vegetables and fruits but is poison and it is not organic vegetables. My lab professor referred a guide it helps me to grow my gardening as what we like, you can get the guide from here >> ( ) <<. I have recommended this system to all of my friends and family. We got good organic natural vegetables and fruits in the next harvest, one of the beautiful products in the market....*

7/28/2013 11:08:50 AM

I've planted an heirloom blue corn for a few years. I got seeds from a local era-stylr urban homestead the city supports. I got a beautiful crop of strong 12 foot tall plants with perfect ears of quality bue corn. Since it was heirloom, I tried saving seeds the next year, but the plants were all wonky, with two and even 3 pairs of suckers gowing out the base, and strange development where the corn is supposed to generate. I suspect the strain as contaminated by pollen from an outside source. Can anyone tell me a way to isolate the pollination so I can save seeds?

5/12/2013 11:41:36 PM

This is my first year of serious gardening.  I have planted 5 rows of G90 sweet corn.  They are coming up but kind of spindly.  I followed proper planting directions and amended the soil before planted.  Did I do something wrong? Or am I missing something?  Most everything else is doing great.  We did have a cold snap the first weekend in May.  I am in Arkansas.  Thanks!

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