Growing Corn In A Raised Garden Bed – A Complete Guide (2024)

When you think of corn, the first image you may have is that of a cornfield. You may picture many acres of corn grown alongside a small town road. You might have your own garden and want to grow your corn in a raised bed.

Corn can be grown in a home garden in a raised bed. You do not need vast amounts of farmland to grow your own corn.

Anyone can grow corn, even if you only have a raised garden bed in your backyard. You won’t be able to feed a small army, but you’ll be able to enjoy corn for many meals. Even if you’ve never done this before, read through this article to become an expert on all things corn!

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Can Corn Be Grown In A Raised Bed

Corn can be grown well in a raised garden bed.

When you’re a gardener with a small backyard, you can plant crops like corn in different ways, depending on what kind of space and skill you have.

If you’ve seen raised garden beds online, you might want to try your hand with that. And corn thrives in raised garden beds.

Raised garden beds have a few benefits, including:

  • Better drainage
  • Keeping your corn warmer because they are raised
  • Off-setting certain crops, so they do not overcrowd other parts of your garden
  • Keep pests and wild animals away from your crop

How Deep Does A Raised Bed Need To Be For Corn

Raised beds for corn do not need to be as tall as you might think they need to be.

Your raised garden should be about 8 to 12 inches tall to allow for your corn to grow appropriately. For most people, this is barely as high as your knee, so you won’t have a problem reaching your crops while tending to them.

If you’ve used a raised bed to plant corn in the past and had a drainage problem, you can make your bed higher. The higher the bed, the better your drainage will be.

To be safe, if it is your first time using a raised garden bed for your corn, I would build your bed closer to a foot tall to ensure proper drainage. You can always water your corn more if it drains too much, but it is harder to take that water away when drainage is poor!

How Do You Transplant A Corn Plant Into A Raised Bed

You can start corn plants from seeds and then transplant them into your raised bed.

Begin your seeds in containers and transfer them to your garden ten days after they begin to sprout. Your seedlings should be about 2 to 3 inches tall, which means that they are ready to plant.

You do not need to plant your seedlings too deep. About 1 to 2 inches deep into the soil will ensure that your corn plant will root and will not be ripped out of the ground by any wind.

Before you start to dig your holes and plant your corn plants, take a look at the next section to learn about spacing your seeds or transplanted seedlings. Spacing is essential when it comes to growing corn!

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What Happens If You Plant Corn Too Close Together

You should not plant corn too close together.

Whether you’re starting from seed or transplanting your corn, you need to make sure that your corn has adequate room to grow.

Rows of corn should be planted 2 to 3 feet apart. The corn in each row should have about 8 inches of room to grow properly.

Corn that is planted too close together can alter the flavor – not something you might have expected!

Crowded corn will have a starchy taste and will not be very sweet.

What Type Of Soil Does Corn Grow Best In

Corn likes fertile, well-draining soil to grow in.

The soil you use won’t be as important since you aren’t planting your corn in mass quantities to feed hundreds of people.

Most gardeners say that loam – light soil – is the best for growing corn, but if you are planting corn in your backyard, you probably aren’t going out to purchase new soil for a dozen or so corn crops.

You might be concerned about the nutrients found in the soil. You can add nitrogen fertilizer to your corn to give it healthy nutrients.

I would focus more on soil that drains well since corn doesn’t like too much water. Since you’re using a raised garden bed, you should consider that you will be helping the drainage of your soil.

We’ll cover how to water your corn crop next.

How Much Water Should Corn Get Per Day

You should give your corn a little bit of water every day, though you do not need to saturate the soil.

Corn needs water to grow, but it may not need as much water as you might initially think.

Most farmers agree that corn needs about an inch of water per week, which is not very much water per day.

As an amateur gardener, you most likely aren’t sure what an inch of water looks like. I’m not even sure how much that is!

While you’re watering your other plants, you can give your corn a quick drink, especially on particularly hot days.

Since corn doesn’t need overwhelming water each day, you can give your corn enough water to wet the soil.

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Does Corn Need Well Drained Soil

Your corn needs well-drained soil to grow at its best.

Corn likes damp soil, but your corn should not be sitting in mud or standing water because you can drown the plants.

Since you’re looking at a raised garden bed for your corn, drainage should not be an issue for your corn as long as you created your raised bed properly from the beginning.

If you are worried about how your raised bed drain, do not overwater your corn, even on hot days.

Hard soil on hot days will absorb water slower, so you may unintentionally flood out your corn with too much water.

Experience with how much you water your plants and keep an eye on how the soil in your raised bed absorbs water.

Does Corn Grow Best In Sun Or Shade

Corn should be grown in full shade.

As with any plant, you may wonder if you should grow your corn in sun, shade, or combination.

In order to produce the best corn possible, you should plant your corn in a place where it will get full sun all day long.

Your corn should get at least 6 hours of sunlight every day, but the more, the better when it comes to growing!

The sun is one of the most important aspects of growing corn, which is why you often see corn grown in wide-open fields. The crops can get full, direct sunlight all day long without any obstructions.

How Do You Harvest Corn

Corn is relatively easy to harvest and should be done so in the fall.

Farmers use a piece of equipment called a grain combine to collect acres and acres of corn at once. Heavy equipment makes harvesting large amounts of corn easier.

Now, you won’t be driving this massive piece of machinery into your backyard to harvest a few stalks of corn.

You have the easier job with only a few corn plants.

Harvest your corn in the early morning with the following simple steps:

  1. Find an ear of corn on your plants
  2. Grasp the ear of corn firmly
  3. Pull down on the ear, twist, and pull once more

You shouldn’t have too much trouble removing the ears of corn from the plants if you are harvesting at the right time.

The hardest part of harvesting with be moving the large leaves from the corn stalks out of the way.

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5 Tips For Growing Corn In A Raised Bed

Now that you’re more knowledgeable about planting corn in a raised garden bed, here are a few extra tips for successfully growing corn in a raised bed.

Use Strong Materials For The Border Of Your Raised Bed

If you’re building your raised bed from scratch, make sure that you use strong, adequately secured materials.

At its simplest, a raised bed is a heap of dirt, but most people will use wood to build a box shape.

Do not use rotted or old wood to make your raised bed. Also, make sure that you secure your material together, so it does not break apart.

Improperly crafted raised beds can end up being a crop avalanche!

Make Your Raised Bed Large Enough To Avoid Crowding

Make sure your raised bed is big enough to accommodate the number of corn plants that you want to plant.

You should do a little math to decide how big your raised beds for your corn should be.

If it is smaller than you planned for it to be, you can also build additional raised beds in your garden for your corn plants.

Don’t Plant Certain Vegetables Around Corn

Your garden may have several different crops in it each year, but you want to avoid certain crops around your corn.

The following should never be planted around corn:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Tomatoes

Since corn plants grow tall, your corn may end up shading these plants too much and stunting their growth.

Plus, all of the above vegetables need nutrients, so all the plants will compete for nutrients from the soil they are planted in.

Instead, consider planting these plants near your corn:

  • Dill
  • Peas
  • Melons
  • Thyme

Don’t Mix Corn Varieties

There are different varieties of corn, but you don’t want to plant them all in one garden.

The varieties of corn can cross-pollinate and will ruin the taste and flavor of all of the corn that grows.

Stick to one type of corn each year, and do not mix packets of seeds when you are planting.

I Repeat: Do Not Crowd Your Corn

I’ve said it before already, but it is worth repeating: do not crowd your corn in your raised garden bed.

You might not think that you’re doing much damage by adding a few extra seeds to your garden to make your time worth it, but you can ruin your entire crop!

Don’t give in to the temptation of adding more corn plants than will fit into your raised garden bed.

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Growing Corn In A Raised Garden Bed – A Complete Guide (2024)


Growing Corn In A Raised Garden Bed – A Complete Guide? ›

Typically, you should plant your corn in blocks, not rows to ensure good pollination. Each corn plant will require about one square foot of space. For corn spacing raised bed, you can pack them in a bit more tightly. Plant seeds about 1 to 2 inches deep, depending on your soil quality.

Does corn grow well in raised beds? ›

At the recommended spacing of 2 plants per square foot, you might get about a dozen ears of corn in half of a 3x6 raised bed. There's another challenge, too. Corn is wind-pollinated. To get ears with a full complement of kernels, you need to plant a block of same-variety corn plants that can pollinate one another.

How many rows of corn should you plant in a garden? ›

Corn needs a big garden

Corn is wind pollinated. It must be planted in blocks or squares of three or more rows. Do not plant in one or two rows because the ears will not be pollinated, meaning that there will be few kernels on each ear.

How deep does soil need to be for corn? ›

The most common seeding depths recommended for corn range between 1.5 and 2 inches deep, and these planting depths can work very well within most conditions, however, certain soil moisture conditions at planting may warrant further examination/change in seeding depth.

What not to do when growing corn? ›

Don't plant too close together or you run the risk of disappointingly small cobs. You may choose to fertilize at planting time with a general purpose (10-10-10 fertilizer); corn is meant to grow rapidly.

How deep should my raised bed be for corn? ›

Soil Depth Requirements for Common Garden Vegetables
Shallow Rooting 12" - 18"Medium Rooting 18" - 24"Deep Rooting 24" - 36"+
CornCucumberSquash, winter
EndiveEggplantSweet potatoes
Kohlrabi, Bok ChoyPeasWatermelon
13 more rows

What happens if I plant my corn too close together? ›

If you plant them too close, you will end up with starchy, very un-sweet corn. To keep your corn separate and sweet as advertised, you must have at least 50 feet between blocks of corn. It is safer, and you are more likely to harvest what you expected, by following the spacing suggestions.

Does corn need a lot of water? ›

As a member of the grass family, corn is a high-demand moisture crop that needs an inch of water each week. The goal is to keep the soil consistently near the 75% moisture content. With very sandy soil, a little more may be necessary. One inch of water should wet the soil to a depth of at least 5 inches.

Is it better to plant corn in blocks or rows? ›

To make sure silks are nicely showered with pollen, grow corn in blocks of short rows rather than in a long, single row. In a small garden, 15 plants set 1 foot apart can be grown in a 3 x 5-foot bed. Growing corn on this tiny scale is a good way to introduce yourself to the crop if you've never grown it.

Can corn grow in potting soil? ›

Absolutely! Corn can thrive in pots as long as they are large enough to accommodate the plant's root system and provide adequate soil, water, and sunlight. Containers should be at least 12-24 inches deep and wide, with good drainage.

Does corn like wet or dry soil? ›

In hot midsummer conditions, heavier soils have the advantage of holding more moisture than lighter soils. Sweet corn needs ample water from germination to harvest, but the most critical period for water is about 2 weeks before silks form.

Can corn be planted too deep? ›

Planting “too deep” (2.5-3 inches) isn't typically as problematic as too shallow, but I have seen some loss of stand, vigor, and uneven emergence from 3 inches planted corn in cool, wet soils- occasionally.

Does corn damage soil? ›

Two centuries of colonial, industrial agriculture in the United States has also led to soil erosion and degradation. Rather than growing corn in polycultures as Native Americans had done, U.S. farmers grew corn in monocultures and decimated their topsoil with similar environmental effects to clear-cutting a forest.

Can you plant just 2 rows of corn? ›

It also makes no sense to plant just one or two rows of corn. To ensure proper pollination: plant your corn in blocks consisting of at least four or five short rows planted side by side, rather than a few long rows; and. provide 18 inches or so between rows.

Does growing corn deplete the soil? ›

However, corn has high nutrient requirements, and can deplete the soil of nutrients if left unchecked.

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