Sweet Corn Project Mississippi

It was at this moment I was convinced to grow sweet corn.

Someone from a Northeastern state in the USA sent me a Northern sweet corn mix adapted to zone 5. This is less than half of what I received. This person was very generous:

I won’t let it go to waste. I am planting today and early. I hope this northern mix has what it takes to get an early start on the season over here.

I’ve never grown corn before. I plan to plant tightly and thin some of them out later. I guess I will try to assist pollination whenever I can by shaking the plants or something.


Plant thickly, don’t bother thinning.


Even better, sounds like less work

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While I’m a bit of a novice at maize, my general approach (used successfully with favas, mustard, corn and squash) is to initially plant thickly without thinning. This quickly establishes which plants have the best overall vigour and competitive tendencies. And I’m not after food in the first couple of years, so don’t need a whole lot of seed to go on with.
It’s a bit of a trade off - you still want enough plants to contribute to the genepool, while (self)eliminating the weaklings.


I am glad it could inspire you.

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I’ve been running behind schedule. I have an image attached showing where the corn is being planted. Also, the corn has been sitting in rainwater since yesterday.

I am also wanting to show my practice of shoveling dirt from the pathways to the beds. I do this 1 to 2 times per year. The rain gradually brings it down and I put it back. I think the pathways inherit some nutrients as well, so that goes back to the top. Essentially, I am growing in turned over subsoil I think.

I just finished the shoveling. Now I am about to smooth it over with a rake and then start putting the seeds in the ground. It feels so good out here. It’s currently 64 degrees F or 17.8 C, party cloudy. The birds are singing and the bees are buzzing.


Nice weather! :sunrise_over_mountains: Snowing here. :cloud_with_snow:

Just to make my meaning clear, there is a corn seed in each of those holes. If they grow well, I wonder if I need to thin out. Also, I want to select for short varieties without sacrificing yield. I worry if I thin I will be inadvertently selecting for taller types due to perceived early vigor.


What is the size of space between holes? I plant my corn (plants transplants)4-6 inches apart, do not thin and get a good crop

Very close. I could probably fit 4 holes in the palm of my hand.

I admit to not planting as closely as some in this group, but I’m afraid you might have created a dilemma for yourself of not being able to distinguish types before they get too crowded. I planted blue jade (a very nice blue dwarf) next to golden bantam improved (which is not a bantam at 8 feet tall) last year and they didn’t diverge in height until they were waist high. The blue jade started tassling and the golden bantam kept growing up for 3 more weeks. I was hoping for a cross, but I failed to account for the 3 week difference in maturity.

Personally, I plant dwarf corn at 6 inch spacing each way and then don’t backfill if one doesn’t sprout.

Hopefully your experience is true in a general way across many varieties.

If that is the case, I would be under the assumption dwarfs grow at a similar rate as non dwarfs, until they get half height. Then, the dwarfs stop while the non dwarfs keep going.

Under that assumption, I have no problem. I simply need to thin out the weak ones as I would any other plant but let them grow as thickly as I think I can get away with.

I will probably provide them with a regular regiment of fish fertilizer, since it’s corn and since they are planted so thickly. But who knows, the cooler weather ahead (above freezing but still cool) might provide all the thinning I need.


I’m doing the same with the first seeds collected from the first grow of sweet corn mix that I tortured in my grow or die no water or sprays grow out. Mine are just coming up a few inches above the wood chips when I went out to observe tonight. But I’ve also added to their stress high density planting them too. I have corn growing in about 1/4 of the space the first grow out had. I only want strong competing corn genetics as quick as I can them. I’m not eating any survivors seed. It all goes back into the ground until I get my mix sorted. So we are both thinking alike this go around.