Fertilization rate of Sweet Corn

drayvenMay 1, 2009

I am having difficulty finding consistent instructions on how often to fertilize corn.

I am growing an sh2 variety called Sun and Stars with some Sugar Baby melons mixed in for ground cover. They are planted in a mixture of topsoil and MiracleGrow Garden Soil, something I don't think I will use again after reading some comments here.

The "fertilizer" I am going to be using is urine which apparently has an NPK of 18:2:5.

It is not perfect but I think it will do for what I want.

When/how much should I fertilize this type of corn and will the fact that I used MiracleGrow Garden Soil affect it?

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Interplant some bush beans with the corn....this will give the corn the nitrogen it needs. I planted dry beans (kidney, great northern beans) in my corn bed. This way I won't have to be messing around in the corn bed while the corn is growing. Let the beans go until the pods are dry. It's working great so far!

Here is a link that might be useful: How my garden grows!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 10:46PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

I follow the recommendations I get when I have my soil tested. Invariably, for corn, they are almost the same every year.

Every year, my soil test sponsored by my county agricultural extension office, with lab work performed by Kansas State University tells me my PH is acceptable, or it is high, and I should apply X amount of sulfur.

Also, regarding NPK, my "P" is twice as high as it should be, and I should not add any.

It tells me my "K" is four times as high as it should be, and because of where I live, I will probably never have to add any to my garden, as long as I live, and should perhaps grow some crown vetch as a fall-winter cover crop to suck up some of this surplus "K", harvest it, and dispose of it off-site.

Finally, it tells me my "N" level. This is different every year, and they tell me how much, if any, nitrogen I should add to my garden before I plant, and how to side-dress nitrogen after planting.

Every year, after I apply the recommended nitrogen before planting, without fail, they will tell me to add X lbs. of one of several different nitrogen fertilizers (46-0-0(urea), 16-0-0(nitrate of soda), or 27-3-3 (common lawn fertilizer) when the corn is 8-10 inches tall, and again one week after tassels appear, and to ignore everything I read on Garden-web prescribing a fixed fertilizer program for everyone, written by someone who assumes every garden needs the same thing.

Apparently, the lawn clipping and leaf mulch I apply constantly to my garden provide all the P and K I need, and I only need to supplement the N.

If you are seriously wanting to grow a decent garden, you should ignore the specific amounts and timing of fertilizer
I and everybody else have mentioned, get a soil test done, and ask a professional what your specific fertilizer needs are.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 3:03AM
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I don't think you soil mix will add much to the corn. Corn takes at least 150 # of N per acre. Fertilizer applied at tassle stage is too late to do any thing for the corn. Do some math for your size of plot. Side dress when the corn is about 1 ft tall.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 5:53AM
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The Gurilla method is just go ahead and sprinkle lightly some all purpose ferilizer (10-10-10; 15-15-15- etc).

Other method is to have your soil tested.

Yet the other method comes from your observation and experienc. How other plants are doing, or have been doing?

About NPK

N= nitrogen will manifest itself in plants color and vigour. Too much "N" can burn and/or may prevent plants from flowering and bearing fruits.
"N" - cannot attach itself to soil, as it is water-soluable and excess of it will leach down.
Therefore the "N" should be supplied and appied continually, gradually as needed.
P= Phosphorus, attaches itself to soil and stays there.
So then it is not necessar to apply more of it if your soil is already rich in "P". But fortunately, there is no TOO MUCH phosphorus. Since it has no bad side effect.

K = Potasium/potash: It is semi-durant. That means, it can go down with water little by little but not as fast as N.
So then you have to replenish it more often than P. Like P, K does not have bad side effects either(generally).
Your plants will use P and K as needed. But watch out for N; It can be deadly (grin)since it is force-fed into plants.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 7:13AM
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the urine experiment should be interesting,,(i have seen it used by an aquantance from the punjab region of india) what does work good for high quality cobs is a light side dressing of 18-18-18 just as they emerge or 10-10-10, when it is as high as your knee(very scientific) side dress(and till) with 20-0-0 or any high N. fert. lots of manure before you till and plant is very essential, as mentioned late fert seems to provide little help. perhaps try your urine in some of the patch and try other supplements on other parts....mmmmm fresh picked corn on the cob

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 9:31AM
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This is my 61st year growning corn. It takes one pound of N to make one bushel of corn. For a good yeild that's 150#.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 11:43AM
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It's too late for me to plant the beans this time but I am interested in this technique.
Would you plant the beans and corn at the same time?
How close to the corn would you need to plant the beans to be effective?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 8:46AM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Beans supply N after they flower, three sisters is popular but growing them together isn't going to supply the N needed for growing corn. It will replenish N taken out though.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 11:49AM
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I have some beautiful sweet corn. Back in early March I disk in triple 13 and about a week before planting I worked in 40-0-0 and when it was knee high I side dressed it with Urea useing around a teaspoon per stalk and got a rain the day after and it is growing like crazy. It will need it again when the ears of corn begin to show up, this will make them fill out and make large ears. Pick your corn when
the silks begin to turn brown and the kernels are soft and milky and one trick to this is to pick the ears early in the morning because during the day they will loose their sweetness. Hope this helps someone.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:06PM
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