How to Plant Corn in a Grid

Corn (Zea mays) grows nicely in a Mediterranean climate. It germinates best in soil temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Gardeners should have success planting corn at U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and warmer everywhere between April and July. In cooler climates, give corn plenty of time to ripen before the first frost of the fall by planting when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees during April or May. Planting corn at a grid uses a limited quantity of garden space efficiently. The easiest way to have a grid-shaped corn crop is to plant the corn in rows and then thin the seedlings to form a grid.

Till the soil or mix it with a gardening fork to a depth of 12 to 15 inches.

Mix 2 to 4 inches of compost or aged manure into the soil with the tiller or gardening fork. Instead, apply a balanced fertilizer to the soil, including a 5-5-5 ratio fertilizer. Use enough to get the corn to get 30 to 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre.

Plant the corn seeds 1 to 2 inches deep in rows spaced at least 2 feet apart. Sow the seeds about 6 inches apart in the rows. If you would like to develop just as much corn as you can in the specified garden space, plant the corn in double rows spaced 8 to 10 inches apart. Space each group of double rows 24 to 36 inches apart.

Water the corn with at least 1 inch of water per week.

Thin the corn into a grid contour once the plants have three or four leaves and achieve heights of around 5 or 4 inches. Reduce the corn so that the plants have a minimum of 8 inches in between each other, ideally giving them 12 to 16 inches of distance.

Side dress that the corn with a high-nitrogen fertilizer once the plants reach 12 inches tall, or should they turn yellowish or show other signs of nitrogen deficiency. Fish emulsion produces a fantastic natural high-nitrogen fertilizer. Apply about 50 lbs per acre by sprinkling it along the surface of the soil next to the rows of corn. Instead, apply 10 to 15 lbs of nitrogen per week through a drip irrigation system.

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