How To Grow Corn: Tips For Home Gardeners
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Indian households always prefer home-grown options rather than store-bought ones. And yes, you can grow corn just in your garden area. Corn, scientifically known as Zea mays, is a staple in Indian households. It is a major cash crop, crucial for its economic significance and as a food source. Indian cuisine features numerous corn recipes, from the beloved roasted 'Bhutta' to various curries and snacks. Corn is a primary source of carbohydrates and proteins and also contains vitamins like Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and Vitamin B6, making it an indispensable part of the diet.

Growing corn in your own garden is indeed possible, although it requires careful attention to space and nutrition. Corn plants need plenty of room to grow due to their extensive root systems and the need for wind pollination. With some proper care, one can successfully grow corn at home, enjoying fresh, sweet corn cobs even without a large garden space.

How to Grow Corn

Choosing The Right Variety

Sweet corn is the most popular variety for home gardens. It is ideal for those who enjoy tender and sweet corn, especially when freshly plucked.

Preparing The Soil

Corn thrives in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Before planting, mix the soil with organic manure like bio-compost or vermicompost in a 2:1 ratio. This provides essential nutrients for the growing plants.

Planting Corn Seeds

Corn is grown by direct seed sowing in containers or raised beds. Plant seeds 2 feet apart in well-prepared soil. Ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged.

Watering Requirements

Corn needs regular watering, especially during hot weather. Water the plants every day in summer and every other day in winter. Use a watering can to avoid single-flow watering, which can damage the soil structure.

Sunlight And Space

Corn plants require full sunlight to grow properly. Ensure that the plants receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. In a garden, plant corn in blocks of short rows to facilitate wind pollination.

Fertilising The Plants

Regular feeding is essential for corn as it is a nutrient-hungry plant. Use a water-soluble plant food and apply it as per the instructions. This will support the rapid growth of the plants.


Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plants. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and prevents weeds, contributing to healthier plant growth.

Supporting Pollination

Corn relies on wind pollination. In small gardens, planting in blocks rather than single rows ensures better pollination. For containers, gently shake the plants to help distribute the pollen.

Managing Pests And Diseases

Monitor the plants regularly for pests like corn earworms and aphids. Use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap to keep the plants healthy.

Harvesting Corn

Corn cobs are ready for harvest when the silks turn brown and dry. To check readiness, squeeze the husk to feel if the ear inside is plump. Harvest the ears with a downward twisting motion.

Storing Harvested Corn

Place harvested corn in the refrigerator immediately to retain sweetness. Corn can be blanched and frozen for long-term storage, either on or off the cob.

Growing corn can be a rewarding experience, providing fresh and delicious cobs for your meals. Anyone can successfully cultivate corn at home with proper care, including suitable soil, regular watering, and effective pest management. Corn's nutritional benefits and culinary versatility make it a valuable addition to any household.