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Grow a lot of Corn at Home in a Small Garden Space


Date Posted: April 28, 2017

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener Grow a lot of Corn at Home in a Small Garden Space
photo credit: Stock Photo

Growing corn at home is just one of those things a lot of people just give up on because of the variety of issues that can come up. One of the biggest issues that I see when people try to grow corn at home in their backyard gardens is underdeveloped corn. The husk of the corn looks like there’s a good cob underneath, then, you open it only to find that the corn has very few kernels on it.

This occurs because of poor pollination. The fact is you need a lot of corn to get great results. Good pollinators and some wind doesn’t hurt either. So what do you do? There are some decent varieties that produce well at home. Two of my favorite (both hybrids) are Silver Queen and Peaches & Cream. Both taste very sweet to me and I have had great growing success with both in the past.

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How Much Space Do You need to Grow Corn

Contrary to popular belief you can get decent corn production from a four foot by four foot garden bed. While more space would be ideal, I have done well in the past using this size. This year I am growing the Peaches & Cream hybrid variety in a four foot by eight foot garden bed, and am getting 128 corn plants. That’s not a typo. I wrote 128.

How are You Able to Cram 128 Corn Plants into an 4 Foot by 8 Foot Garden Bed

I know the first thing you are thinking and that is, there is no way you can get that many corn plants into that area. The truth is, using the square foot gardening method and a handy template to ensure adequate yet optimal spacing, you can.

The goal is to make sure the corn seeds are evenly spaced out so that you maximize each square foot of your garden. Each square foot contains four corn plants. Four corn plants per each square foot spread out evenly throughout a thirty-two square foot garden bed will yield you 128 plants.

How to Grow Corn from Seed in a Small Garden at Home in Your Backyard


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The Keys to Maximizing Growing Corn at Home

Here are some steps I take each season to get the most out of the space I am using to grow corn in my home backyard garden.

Til to Soil

Some people like to use a weed-less gardening system and that is fine, but for me I like to loosen up the soil with my tiller. This speeds up the process of not only loosening the soil but mixing in valuable compost which your corn will need.

Rake the Soil Over

Once you till the soil it will be uneven. What I do next is use my rake and “smooth” the soil out. In other words I try to make the soil level even through the entire garden bed.

Growing Corn Using the Square Foot Gardening Method

I have found that using the seeding square, a square foot gardening template, allows me to maximize every square inch on my garden beds. It comes in really handy for corn as you are trying to cram in as much corn as possible, but at the same time make sure they have enough room to grow and thrive. The seeding square helps me achieve this. It is a great timer saver as well. All of the spacing measurements are taken care of.

Planting the Corn Seeds

After I lay out the entire grid and holes for the corn I then go back through and drop one corn seed in each hole.

Cover the Holes that Contain the Corn Seeds

The last step is cover the corn seeds and the holes they are in. There are a limitless number of ways you can do this step. I like to take my rake, and ever so gently, rake over the top of the soil to cover. I show this in the video.

Keeping Deer and Rabbits Out of the Area

I have a huge issue with rabbits in my area, so what I like to do is put up some chicken fencing around the garden bed to keep them out. The fence only stays up while the corn plants are small. Once the corn grows to near two feet I remove the fence for easier access.

If you have a deer problem in your area, you will need a fence at least six feet tall to keep them out. They will devastate your crop if they get in there.

Feeding the Soil So Your Corn Can Grow

Again there are a number of solutions to make sure your corn plants get the nutrients they need to grow. When the plants get to be about two feet tall (after I have removed the fencing), I like to add in a one to two inch layer of compost. Through watering and further breaking down, the nutrients will reach the corn.

However, let’s say you don’t have access to more compost. You can either buy more or invest in some good organic fertilizer.

Take a look at the video. I show you the beginning process of starting corn from seeds covering all of the steps I mentioned above. I can’t wait to bite into that first piece!

If you liked this article and got something from it, please share it with your friends. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter as well as subscribe to The Vegetable Gardening Show on YouTube and Facebook.

Happy gardening!


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Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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KEYWORDS:

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