How to Grow Sweet Corn in AZ


Sweet corn is a common addition to home gardens, and is easy to grow in Arizona. Frequent fertilization and watering will ensure the corn produces moist kernels and is healthy enough to fight off insect and disease infestations. Planting the corn in the early spring may even give Arizona gardeners a chance to harvest the sweet corn early and plant another crop before the first winter frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden tiller
  • Water
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Select a planting site that receives full sun, which is at least eight hours daily, and has well-drained soil that does not collect standing water. The site should be large enough to support several short rows instead of one long row. This planting setup will increase pollination.

  • Use a garden tiller to create the rows for planting the corn. Dig rows 2 inches deep, spaced 3 feet apart, between 5 and 10 feet long depending on how much corn you want to plant. Do this in the early spring, just after the last frost. Desert areas of southern Arizona can also do a second planting 100 days before the first fall frost.

  • Insert the corn seeds into the furrows with 1 foot of space between the seeds. Cover the seeds with soil and water until the soil settles.

  • Continue watering the corn any time the soil feels dry to the touch. Do not let the soil dry out between waterings. For the lower-lying areas of Arizona, this may mean you need to water the soil daily.

  • Apply a nitrogen fertilizer to the soil around the plants once the corn reaches 6 inches in height. Follow the package directions for application. Repeat the fertilizer application when the plants reach knee-height, then again when they reach waist height. Apply a final application when the ears begin producing silk.

  • Pick the ears of sweet corn when the silk begins to dry out.

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