How to Start Corn From Seeds Indoors

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Corn is a relatively straight-forward and simple crop to grow; you can simply plant the seeds in the garden soil, water and feed them, and then enjoy the plants as they sprout and produce corn. Starting seeds indoors can help reduce wasted space in small gardens, however, and also conserve seed, since you will not have to plant extra seed corn in case some fails to germinate, and you will not have gaps in your rows because of failed germination or seeds eaten by pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed corn
  • 2-inch peat pots
  • Topsoil
  • Grow light
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Plan to start this planting project four or five weeks before the last predicted frost in your area if you are planning to transplant the corn to an outdoor growing area. It is best to use seed corn purchased from a local garden supply store or farmer/farmer's market, or saved from last year's crop.

  • Plant the corn kernels in 2-inch peat pots, or "grow-through" pots made of other organic fiber. Sow just one or two kernels in the center of each pot, about one inch deep. Fill each pot with standard topsoil.

  • Place the seedlings underneath a grow light. Keep well-watered--the soil should be moist, not wet--and apply a balanced commercial fertilizer after the initial planting, and four weeks after that.

  • Harden the seedlings outside by placing them in an area protected from sun and wind for a little bit longer each day; by the time they have been hardening for one week you can leave them out at night as long as no frost is predicted, and a few days later they should be ready for transplanting.

  • "Transplant" your corn seedlings by planting them directly into the soil, peat pot and all. The seedling's roots will grow straight through the peat pot into the surrounding soil.

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