Sweet Corn Plant Spacing – Should They Be Close Together?
To understand the topic better, let’s talk about the reasons why corn plants should be close together. Corn is a wind-pollinated plant, meaning it relies on the wind to transfer pollen from one plant to another in order to produce ears of corn. Corn plants should be planted close together so that the pollen can easily reach and pollinate neighboring plants.
In addition, corn plants benefit from being close together because they provide support for each other as they grow taller. This is important, especially in areas with strong winds or heavy rainfall. A block of corn is stronger when the plants support each other.
So how far apart to plant corn for optimal cross-pollination and support without overcrowding? Read on to find out.
How Far Apart to Plant Corn? Seed Spacing
The recommended corn plant spacing is 8–10 inches apart. This allows for enough room for the plants to spread their roots and grow tall without overcrowding. But if you’re growing corn from seeds, plant them 2–4 inches apart – you can thin the seedlings out after germination. If you want to maximize space, some gardeners recommend planting corn in a square foot grid pattern with about 9 plants per square foot.
However, it’s important to note that these recommendations refer to sweet corn – the type most commonly found in grocery stores and eaten as a vegetable. Field corn, which is used for animal feed or to make cornmeal, can be planted much closer together – as little as 4 inches apart.
But if you have room in your garden, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and give your corn plants a little bit more space. This will result in healthier, heartier plants and bigger ears of corn at harvest time. Now, how far apart to plant corn rows? Keep reading for the answer.
How Many Inches Between Rows?
Most farmers prefer to space their corn rows 30 inches apart. In the past, 36 inches were the standard recommendation, but modern corn hybrids can thrive at closer spacing. Any number between 30 and 36 should work well. It’s also important to note that corn is a heavy feeder – it requires lots of nutrients and water to grow well. So make sure your corn rows have enough room for proper fertilizer and irrigation.
Thinning Out the Seedlings
When your corn plants have germinated and grown to be 4 inches tall, it’s time to thin them out. Remove any weak or overcrowded plants so that the remaining corn plants have enough room to grow. Thin so there’s only one plant every 12 inches. By properly spacing your corn plants, you’ll have a higher chance of success at growing big, delicious ears of corn.
Tall Corn vs. Short Corn Varieties
The spacing after thinning will vary based on the type of corn you’ve chosen to grow. Taller varieties, such as ‘Silver Queen’ or ‘Country Gentleman,’ will require more space – about 18 inches between plants. Shorter varieties, such as ‘Sweetie’ or ‘Honey n’ Pearl,’ can be planted closer together at 12 inches apart.
So how far apart to plant corn? Follow the guidelines above for growing sweet corn and a successful harvest of sweet, juicy kernels. Remember, the results will depend on how well you care for your plants – provide plenty of water and fertilizer, and keep an eye out for pests or disease.
In conclusion, how far apart to plant corn? The main thing to consider is balancing pollination and support with maximizing space in your home garden. Sweet corn seeds should be sown 2–4 inches apart, with rows spaced 30 inches apart. Remember to thin out seedlings to one plant every 12 inches when they reach 4 inches tall. Consider the variety of corn you are planting – taller varieties will require more space.
Do you have any other questions about growing corn? Check out our other guides for more tips and information. Happy planting!