Know when to plant. Depending on your region and the type of corn you are planting, you will need to plant seeds at a different time. Typically, the best time to plant is mid-May to late-June. Be wary of planting too early, since the seeds will rot if the soil is too cold. If you have a soil thermometer, check the temperature regularly and wait to plant until the soil reaches 65ºF.
Corn likes to grow in areas of full sun, so select a garden plot that is out in the open. Try to choose an area relatively free of weeds, as corn has a difficult time competing.
Corn prefers soil that is nitrogen rich and well manured. Add compost or manure to the soil two and four weeks before planting so that it has time to incorporate with the soil.
Corn is wind-pollinated, so it is best to plant it in blocks rather than individual rows so that the pollen has a better chance of germinating.
Plant the seeds every 3 inches along rows, with 24–36 inches of space between rows. Plant at least four rows so the wind can spread pollen between them.
Plant the seeds 1–2 inches below the surface of the soil.
Water the corn. Corn requires about one inch of water a week, and lax watering can produce ears with many missing kernels. Apply water to the base of the plants to prevent washing away pollen at the top of the plant.
Weed around young plants. Keep the corn weed-free until it is about knee high. After that, your corn should out-compete the weeds on its own.
As the saying “knee-high by the fourth of July” goes, your corn should be 12–18 inches tall by the beginning of July. The corn is finished growing about three weeks after it develops “tassels” - a dry, brown silk tail at the top of the ear.
The corn is ready to be harvested when the kernels are tightly packed and produce a milky fluid when punctured. This is called the “milk stage”. Eat immediately after picking for the best flavor and optimum freshness.