How to Plant & Grow Maize

Updated February 21, 2017

Corn and maize refer to the same plant. Maize is a favourite vegetable for many people and is rich in nutrients like vitamin C, carbohydrates and protein. Planting and growing maize takes some patience and requires a lot of space. Corn can grow in many climates but does best in the heat of the summer, over 65F.

Select an area of land that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Maize needs plenty of sunlight to grow.

Prepare the soil. The land should have adequate drainage. The best growth can be obtained at a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Plow or till the selected piece of land about 6 inches deep. Design either a square or rectangle shape. Maize is wind-pollinated, so forming the shape of a square or rectangle will maximise the wind pollination.

Plant your seeds 10 days to two weeks after the average frost. If you plant too early, you risk frost killing your seedlings.

Poke holes that are 1 inch deep for heavy soil and 2 inches or less in sandy soil. Make straight rows that are 2 to 3 feet apart. The distance allows the roots room to grow. Create at least four or more rows; maize is wind pollinated, and a square or rectangle pattern ensures adequate pollination.

Sow five or six seeds per hole. Cover each hole with soil.

Water the field after everything has been planted and apply fertiliser that is rich in nitrogen. Maize needs a lot of nitrogen to grow and produce well. Apply compost as well.

Form the soil around the roots into small hills when the stalks are about 6 inches high. This will keep the roots cool and assists with anchoring the stalk to the ground.

Harvest your maize when the plants are mature. The ears should be full and the silk should be brown and crisp. A pierced kernel will produce a milky substance. The end of the ear should be blunt, not pointed.

Things You'll Need

  • Corn seeds
  • Tiller
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Crystal Huskey began writing in 2008 for various nonprofit organizations and news agencies. She now serves as the assistant editor for a hyper-local news site. Huskey is completing her Master of Arts in international relations at American Public University.