The Versatility of Corn

There are many misconceptions about growing corn. For example, you may think your growing season is too short or too dry. You may have heard that your soil is not of a high enough quality, or that your growing zone just is not suited for corn. However, corn will grow nearly anywhere in the world if you have the right knowledge to produce it.


Climate Requirements for Corn

One of the main things you need to grow a successful corn crop is long, hot summer days. Since every geographical area does experience summer, with lengthening days and warm temperatures, you can genuinely grow corn anywhere you live.

If you live in a short growing season, you should choose a variety of corn that matures early. Some super-sweet corn hybrids mature in as few as 85 days. For even the coolest growing zones, this is adequate time to plant and harvest corn.

Tip: If you want to try a variety that takes longer to mature, you can start corn seeds indoors to give them a head start.

Water Requirements for Corn

If you live in an arid part of the country, water may be the only problem when it comes to growing corn. Corn does need ample water to thrive, so if you live in an area where little rain falls, plan on watering your corn crop at least weekly, or even more frequently.

In addition to frequent watering, you can also do the following things to help keep the soil moist between waterings:

  • Irrigate from the ground with soaker hoses or ground-level sprinklers instead of from above.
  • Spread a thick layer of mulch around your corn to help maintain moisture.
  • Water early in the morning to prevent evaporation during the hottest parts of the day.

Soil Requirements for Corn

Corn definitely prefers a soil that is rich in nutrients, and that you can efficiently work with. For example, if your ground has a clay-like consistency, the corn seeds may have a hard time breaking through the crust and sending out roots. Or, you may have sandy soil that does not retain moisture well.

However, with a little care, you can make your soil a hospitable growing medium for corn. Before planting, work in several inches of organic compost and aged manure. Continue to add mulch frequently to keep the ground moist, and your corn should thrive.

As you can see, it may take a few extra steps or some extra watering on occasion, but you can grow most types of corn no matter where you live.