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Growing Corn Successfully in Seattle

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Dreaming of growing corn in Seattle?

We’ve have luck growing corn in Seattle. And we’ve had luck growing corn in very small spaces. But, to get a decent crop of corn from your vegetable garden, you’ll need to follow a few key steps.
Growing Corn in Seattle with Success

To grow corn successfully, sunlight really matters.

  • First, site your corn in a location that gets full sun, all day.
  • In fact, corn wants at least 8 hours of direct sun. Or it just won’t do well.
  • So, if you have an unobstructed bed with southwest exposure, that’s ideal.
  • And if you’re gardening in a west-facing parking strip, that’s where we’ve had the best luck growing corn in Seattle.
  • It seems that the hot, reflected asphalt heat really helps power up the corn.

Moreover, you’ll need to take care of the soil.

  • Corn requires a lot of nitrogen. But don’t just throw down a lot of fertilizer and hope for the best.
  • Instead, test your soil and determine what’s actually needed. It may need fertilization. Or, it may require a pH adjustment.
  • And, it might need both.

If you need help figuring out when to plant your corn…

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And, you’re going to need some wind to have success growing  corn.

  • Corn is pollinated by wind. So while gardening for insect pollinators is great, it won’t directly help your corn harvest.
  • And you’ll need several corn plants placed in rows. That’s because this will help maximize how much pollen gets transferred by wind from plant to plant.

As well, choose your corn varieties carefully.

  • Sweet corn is the kind of corn you’re probably seeking. But you may want to choose a popcorn instead. Or you might want decorative corn.
  • But if you’re growing corn in a city like Seattle, it’s unlikely you want corn to feed livestock.
  • And all of these corns are not the same.
  • Plus, some varieties perform better in small spaces. And, some do better in the short Seattle corn growing season. So, be sure to choose a variety that fits all of your needs. This is true whether you choose to grow from seed or from pre-sprouted starts.
  • Moreover, you may want to plant a couple of kinds of corn. That’s because this can also help improve your odds of good pollination.

Consider growing corn in Seattle along with other crops.

  • Corn alone will deplete your soil fast. But if you grow corn with companion plants, you may bring balance to your garden.
  • For instance, consider planting squash or pumpkins with your corn. And, you might wish to add in some pole beans to climb the corn stalks.
  • Not only will these extra plants add beauty to your garden. But they’ll also diversity your garden ecosystem. And you’ll have more than corn to eat from your harvest.

And, don’t forget to water.

This crop is a heavy drinker. So, be sure you’ve got your watering system in place. And take care to really check the soil regularly. That’s because over-watering is wasteful. But under watering can resulting a failed harvest.

4 comments on “Growing Corn Successfully in Seattle

  1. Gail Kamath on

    planted Golden Beauty corn in Federal Way, WA on July 31 in a kugelculture bed. Ther reddish seeds on the male part of plants are hanging and want to know what chances are this corn will make it to harvest this year, 2022. We have already taken the male seedson the tassels and self pollinated as best we could. Are the corn likely to fill enough before temperatures dip lower in October?

  2. Garden Mentors on

    Gail, thanks for writing in. Site unseen it’s difficult to know how far along your corn is at this point in the season. That being said, if you just hand pollinated the silks late in September, you’re definitely running out of time to get corn before the season turns. Late July is fairly late to plant corn. If you’re doubting the likelihood of getting corn, you might want to remove the plants from your beds sooner rather than later. Corn can significantly deplete your soil, so it may serve your hugelkultur bed more to add the decomposing plants rather than hope for a late harvest from the plants. Then, next year, plant again. But do it earlier. Keep in mind that old saying: “Corn should be knee high by the 4th of July.”

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