The Proper and Effective Way to Cultivate Corn Plants

Joko Warino S.P M.Si

The Proper and Effective Way to Cultivate Corn Plants

In several countries, corn becomes a significant commodity due to its widespread use both as a food source and as animal feed, leading to its cultivation by many farmers. The cultivation of corn can yield maximum results when its growth requirements are met.

Simply put, corn thrives when planted in subtropical or tropical regions with a minimum of eight hours of sunlight each day. In terms of altitude, it is advisable to cultivate corn at elevations between 1000 to 1800 meters above sea level (masl), with an optimal range of 50 to 600 masl. Furthermore, the planting medium used should contain essential nutrients to ensure its growth and productivity are optimized.

Cultivation Guide for Corn Plants for Beginners

Cultivation Guide for Corn Plants for Beginners

Here are 6 fundamental steps to cultivate corn for bountiful yields:

1. Selecting Corn Seeds

The first step in cultivating corn is to choose quality seeds. You can obtain corn seeds from agricultural stores.

There are several types of corn seeds typically available, including hybrid varieties, sweet corn, and others.

2. Land Preparation and Weed Clearance

Preparing the land is an essential requirement for corn cultivation, as it directly influences the growth of the planted corn.

Ensure that the soil where corn will be planted is genuinely fertile and rich in nutrients. Corn is adaptable to various soil types such as andosols, latosols, grumosols, and other types.

The suitable pH for corn cultivation ranges from 5.6 to 7.5. Make sure to assess the fertility of your soil before proceeding.

3. Planting Corn in the Field

After obtaining superior corn seeds and preparing the land, proceed to plant the corn. The most suitable soil condition for planting corn is when the soil is moderately moist.

Ensure that the soil is not excessively wet or too dry. Local farmers typically use a planting distance of around 100 cm x 40 cm for corn. Then, place two seeds in each planting hole. The usual depth for planting holes is around 3-5 cm.

4. Applying Fertilizer to Corn Plants

In the initial stages of fertilizing corn plants, you can use a base fertilizer. The commonly used base fertilizer types are organic fertilizers, such as manure, compost, and various other organic fertilizers.

Your corn plants will absorb several essential nutrients required for growth, such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. These three nutrients are necessary during the growth and flowering phases.

5. Corn Care

During the growth period, there’s a possibility that corn plants might be susceptible to pests. Therefore, proper care is necessary for corn plants. There are several stages of care that can be undertaken, such as thinning, weeding, earthing up, watering, and additional fertilization.

  • Thinning

Thinning should be done if you observe corn plants with inhibited growth. Replace them with new plants. When thinning, avoid delay as the maximum time required is usually only one week.

  • Weeding

In addition to thinning, periodic weeding and monitoring of corn plants can be done. Weeding is typically performed on one-week-old corn plants.

  • Earthing Up

Earthing up is done by digging trenches between the rows and creating mounds of soil behind the plant’s roots. This is intended to prevent corn plants from falling easily and to provide stability for supporting the stems and future fruits. The trenching allows water to enter, which the plant can absorb more easily.

  • Fertilization

For fertilization, try to spread some manure or compost. Additionally, you can provide nutrients to the plants.

  • Irrigation

Water is a crucial factor for corn plants, from the initial stages to the eventual harvest. Several phases of corn growth require ample water, including the flowering phase. This phase occurs around 45-55 days after planting. The grain-filling phase also demands sufficient water, usually occurring between 50 to 80 days after planting.

  • Pest and Disease Prevention

While corn plants are growing, there will always be challenges. Several pests commonly affect corn plants, such as cutworms, armyworms, leafhoppers, seedcorn maggots, and more. Diseases that corn plants might encounter when attacked by pests include purple leaf spot, fungi, and rust.

6. Corn Harvesting

Corn Harvesting

The determination of the harvest age of corn plants usually depends on the consumer’s preferences. If you’re targeting baby corn or feed corn, the required time for harvesting will be shorter. However, caution is needed during harvesting.

Avoid harvesting too late, as it can result in many corn kernels becoming damaged. To check the maturity of the corn kernels, try peeling a sample. If it matches your expectations, you can proceed with the harvest.


Sweet corn is a versatile crop that can adapt to both lowland and highland environments. Sweet corn should be grown at temperatures between 21-27 degrees Celsius, and the plant’s nutrient requirements must be met to achieve satisfying results.

The process of cultivating sweet corn involves land preparation, followed by planting, care and pest control, and finally, harvesting sweet corn.



Joko Warino S.P M.Si

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Joko Warino, a lecturer at one of the universities in Indonesia (Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, UIN Suska Riau Indonesia). My field of expertise is soil science.

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