Although some urban growers would scoff at planting backyard sweet corn, it’s worth trying at least once because the results are delicious. As a member of the grass family, corn likes to be grown in blocks, not rows, because the plants are air-pollinated, meaning the pollen travels from tassel to tassel via the wind. Also, backyard sweet corn needs plenty of nitrogen, so use a soil amendment that can increase this nutrient in your soil. Compost, coffee grounds, or an organic fertilizer works perfectly.

At planting time, make sure the soil is a minimum of 50 degrees F at 6 inches deep or 55 degrees F at 2 inches deep. Space each plant 1½ feet apart, and then water and watch the plants do their thing. At harvest time, expect to get one to two ears of corn per stalk. What you can’t eat immediately, freeze for later use in soups, salsas and more.

Taste the results, and let us know if you think the effort is worth it!


Hobby Farms publishes the info you need to know to run a small-scale, sustainable farm.

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