Corn on the cob tastes of sunshine, barbecues and childhood. Who can resist a fresh ear of corn with butter and salt? Home growers plant and raise this popular crop to put home-grown corn on their tables. In areas that have cooler climates and short growing seasons, growers may choose to grow their corn in a greenhouse for protection. Although this presents some challenges, it can be done successfully. Grow your own corn in a garden or greenhouse and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Prepare your planting site. Corn should be grown in rows with access to full sun. If you're planting in a greenhouse, use one that has clear glass for sun exposure, and keep the windows open or the greenhouse fan on (corn is pollinated by wind).
Prepare your soil for corn growing. Turn over the top 12 inches and mix in composted manure or organic material (leaves, grass etc).
Sow corn seed, available at garden supply stores and nurseries. Plant the seeds by pushing them one inch into the soil. Separate each seed by three to four inches. Separate the rows by 10 to 12 inches.
Keep your corn moist with deep waterings. Greenhouse growing is ideal for the controlled warmth and humidity. Use irrigation or overhead watering systems, to maintain the moisture the corn needs. For corn, irrigation is the preferred method of watering. Dig troughs between the rows of corn, and run water through the troughs every other day.
Use a nitrogen supplement when corn plants are knee high to encourage growth. Mulch around the base of the plants with organic material or soil to protect the roots and keep them established. Corn will reach maturity in 65 to 95 days, depending on the type of corn you're growing.
- The best time to plant corn is in late spring, when the soil is warm, to take advantage of the longer days.
- Give corn more water over dry summers to keep the ears large and juicy.
- Stagger plantings of corn to keep a continuous crop going in your greenhouse.
- The edges of corn leaves can be sharp; handle with caution.