Sweet corn prefers full sun and fertile, well-drained soils for maximum yield. For more information on sweet corn, click here.
VARIETIES: There are many different sweet corn varieties suited for growth in Utah. The major differences in these varieties include maturity dates and sugar content. Early varieties produce smaller ears and are less sweet while late maturing varieties are better adapted to long seasons and warmer temperatures.
Before planting, incorporate 2 to 4 inches of well-composted organic matter and apply 4 to 6 cups of all purpose fertilizer per 100 square feet. For more information on soil preparation, click here.
- To plant 100 feet of row, 3 to 4 ounces of seed is needed.
- Planting in blocks of three or more rows rather than a single row increases pollination.
- Plant corn seeds 1 to 2 inches deep.
- Seeds should be spaced 9 to 12 inches apart in a row with up to 30 inches between rows.
- Corn requires 60 to 90 days to mature, depending on variety.
Irrigation: Sweet corn requires regular watering throughout growth for best production. Water needs are critical during tasseling, silking and ear formation. Drought stress during ear development will decrease yield, lower kernel quality and affect flavor. For more information on watering, click here.
Fertilization: In addition to the fertilizer used when preparing the site, sweet corn needs additional nitrogen fertilizer to produce optimum yields. Side dress sweet corn with ½ lb per 100 square feet when plants have eight to ten leaves, and with an additional ¼ lb when the first silks appear. Place the fertilizer 6 inches to the side of the row and irrigate into the soil. For more information on fertilizing, click here.
Harvest: Sweet corn ears mature in 15 to 24 days from silk emergence, depending on the temperature. Ears are mature when silks are dry and brown with the husks still looking moist and green. For best quality and flavor, harvest and use sweet corn immediately. Sweet corn can be stored for several days if refrigerated. Do not remove the husk until it is ready for use.
COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES: Root rot and wilt diseases are common pests of sweet corn. Appropriate insecticides at seeding or strong water streams are both effective ways to control sweet corn pests. For more information on controlling pests and diseases, click here.