HOW TO GROW SWEET CORN IN CONTAINERS?


When you think about corn then the image of wide-open fields comes to your mind. This is the ideal environment for growing this wonderful crop. But if you are interested in growing this crop at your home and you don’t have large space. 

Then don’t be disheartened because you can grow corn in pots or containers. This is not an easy task but can be done with little hard work and your attention. Although the yields are smaller and less satisfying.

When you decide to grow sweet corn in containers then it will need more attention, more work, and more planning but it can be done.  If you want to do something, you have to do it wholeheartedly so that you can succeed. 

Different varieties of corn are available and each variety is different from the other. You will find the difference in height, internal structure, texture, softness, and taste of each variety. 

If you want fresh corn in your dishes then you should select sweet corn. This variety of corn is very tender, juicy, and perfect for many dishes. The color of sweet corn is yellow but it is found in brown and red also.  

Here we are going to give you detailed information about growing sweet corn in containers.  You will get all the information from planting to harvesting in this article. 

It can be a fun experiment for your family, especially for kids. They love to see how corn grows.  The other advantage of homegrown sweet corn is that it tastes so good. 

CHOOSE THE RIGHT POT FOR GROWING SWEET CORN

Choosing the right container can be challenging as we know that this crop is associated with open fields and open areas. It does not want to be grown in a pot or container. So the container should be the right one. If your container has good drainage, depth, width, and stability, you should grow your crop.

Clay or plastic pots and large containers work well but don’t stop there. If you are a creative one, you can use a laundry basket, wooden crates, barrels, garbage cans, and whatever you think might work. You can satisfy your aesthetic sense by creating worthwhile items by using useless things. 

The container or pot should be large enough to provide ample space for your sweet corn plants. The diameter and depth of the container should be 12 inches. Keep in your mind that each container can hold four corn plants.

Avoid planting more than 3 to 4 plants in one container. The crop of corn needs space, proper nutrients, and drainage. Availability of all these factors will result in a successful yield. 

PREPARE SOIL FOR PLANTING

Soil is a very important factor in the growth of any plant. Make sure your plants get all the basic nutrients otherwise they will not provide you with a healthy yield. 

As we are growing sweet corn in the container that’s why we should not worry about the fertility of the soil. The most important benefit of growing plants in the container is that you can maintain the richness of soil which is not possible in the case of in-ground plants. 

It is suggested that you should use a loamy potting mix because this mixture has all the nutrients which corn needs. Corn plants are heavy feeders that’s why you should add nitrogen and phosphorus because these nutrients will boost your yield. 

Moist soil is needed for the corn plants. But moist soil does not mean soggy or waterlogged. This will become the reason for many diseases in the plants. 

BOOST THE SOIL

You can increase the richness of the soil by adding compost, chicken manure, grass clipping, and fish emulsion. These things will boost your potting soil before sowing the corn seeds. 

If the diameter of the pot is about one foot then you can add a gallon scoop of compost to the soil. It is necessary to mix the compost with the potting soil very well. In this way, your corn plant gets all the basic nutrients when they start growing. 


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PLANT YOUR CORN SEEDS IN THE CONTAINER

After filling the container the next step is sowing the seeds of sweet corn in the container. Sow the seeds of corn directly to the containers because the roots of young seedlings of corn plants don’t like to be disturbed.

When the temperature of the soil reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit then this is the best time for sowing seeds in the container.  Here we are discussing the simple steps of planting seeds. 

  • You can plant six seeds in one container. Make a 1-inch deep hole in the soil. Place the seeds in the soil. Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil. Don’t sow the seeds more than 1 inch.
  • You can sow the seeds closely together in the container because this will help in the pollination process.  The production of corn plants will be increased by planting closely together in a pod or container.
  • The distance between each plant should be 6 inches. The distance between the edges of the container and the plant should be 4 inches.
  • After sowing the seeds water the soil so the seeds will adjust to the new environment quickly.
  •  Sunlight is a very important factor in the growth of any plant during the germination of corn seeds to make sure they get proper sunlight.
  •  The germination time of corn seeds is about 10 to 14 days. The suitable temperature for the germination process is between 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in cooler regions. If the temperature of your area is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit then the seeds will germinate within 6 days. 

FIND THE RIGHT SPOT FOR YOUR CONTAINER

You are growing corn in large size of container that’s why it is not easily movable.  You have to choose a proper spot where they get ample light. Choosing the right spot for your container is very important.  

Select the place where your plants get proper air for respiration and sunlight to produce a better yield. Corn plants like to grow in warm weather, which means they need plenty of sunlight for their proper and healthy growth.  

The height of the container-grown corn can be reached about  6 to 8 feet tall. 6 to 8 are ideal for making privacy walls in any growing area. Some people like to grow corn plants as a privacy wall as the stalks can grow taller very quickly. If you plant corn in the corn plants will be tall enough in midsummer. 

CARING FOR THE CORN PLANTS

Sweet corn is a special treat in the summer season, if you grow these plants at home then you will get an incredible taste. When you sow the seeds now it’s time to take care of your corn plants. 

Keep in mind that corn can be a bit tricky if you grow them in containers. Your attention is very essential for growing sweet corn plants in containers

When your corn plants grow, they need water, sunlight and fertilizers for producing crops. When you see 1 inch of the surface of the soil is dry then you can water the soil to make it moisten.  

WATER

Sweet corn doesn’t need wet soil. Soil should remain moist, not wet all the time until the seed sprouts. This process will take two weeks.  When the seed is sprouted, thin the seedlings. 

Make proper space between the corn plants so they get an adequate room and will not fight for organic material in the container. For moist soil, you should water the plants every other day but make sure the soil needs adequate moisture. 

Overwatering is not good for your plants. It is better to water the plants when they need it. You can use your finger for this purpose. If you feel the soil is soggy then don’t water your plants. Remember your plants need more water when they are fruiting.

USE FERTILIZERS

Fertilizers will help in the healthier development of the plants. After 10 weeks of planting the corn seeds, you can apply fertilizer at this time. Your corn plants need only ½ tbsp of 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 fertilizer for each plant. 

The best way of applying fertilizer is that you should dig a small hole near the plant and sprinkle the fertilizers in it, after that mix it into the soil.

DON’T FORGET TO MULCH

Moisture is very important for the growth of corn plants. Although you are growing cons in the container it doesn’t mean you can’t apply mulch in the container. 

You can add mulch around the corn plants which helps to retain moisture in the soil. You can use wood chips, grass clippings, or newspaper to prevent moisture loss in the soil. It is very important to reduce the growth of weeds.

Weeds are unwanted plants that can steal the nutrients of the plants. In that case, plants have to fight for the nutrients with them. Competition of nutrients is not good for the health of corn plants. 

COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES

When you grow sweet corn in containers then there is less danger of pests and diseases. But it doesn’t mean you are tension-free. You have to keep an eye on your plants so these tiny monsters will not affect your plant. 

CORN LEAF APHIDS

Aphids are very disturbing pests which are the reason for destroying many crops. Your plants look covered with black mould. 

CORN FLEA BEETLES

You will see the contributors are very active. If you see small circulator holes on the leaves it is a clear symptom that corn flea beetles are affecting your plant. 

CUTWORMS

Cutworms are a danger for every plant in your garden. They can move from plant to plant. The top part of the plant will be destroyed by this pest.

SEEDCORN MAGGOTS

Spring is the time when a type of maggot destroys the crops. Their main target is corn seeds. During the germination process, you have to keep an eye on because seed corn maggots affect your corn. 

SOUTHERN CORN ROOTWORM

As the name shows, these insects are interested in the roots of the corn plant. They also target the heart or bud of the plant. As these worms are very small it can be hard to spot them at times.

HARVESTING CORN

As you are growing sweet corn in the container. So you should not be confused about the harvesting period because it is the same as harvesting corn in the garden. 

The maturity time of the sweet corn is about 60 to 100 days but it depends upon the weather condition. As mentioned above container-grown corn is not like a field-grown crop. 

You will get less yield and it can be disappointing for you. Container-friendly varieties can solve your problem. you should plant a few containers of 4 to 6 stalks each. If you want a high pollination rate then set all the containers close together.

Your dedication and hard work result in mature corn. When corns are ready to pick, the tips of the ear will tell you whether it is the time to pick or not. If the ear is pointed then the corn needs more time for picking. If you see the tip of the ear is rounded or blunt and the silks are dry then it is time to pick them.

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