Hilling, Side Dressing and Fertilizing Incredible Sweet Corn


Today I want to talk about healing and fertilizing sweet corn On a recent video we had a viewer post a question in the comment section Asking simply why do we heal sweet corn and it got us thinking well Maybe we should explain that because it was getting just a right time to heal our sweet corn here behind me here We’ve got our incredible sweet corn growing. We planted that on a previous video with our Hoss Garden Seeder This plot is 30 by 35. So about a thousand square feet We were able to get 10 rows in there with your row spacing 3 foot apart And then the in row plant space on the sweet corn We went about 4 to 6 inches apart because we’re planting on top of drip irrigation We can get a closer spacing because we can give those plants all the water they need So today I want to talk about the 3 reasons for why we heal or throw dirt to our sweet corn Plants and also want to talk about side dressing and the fertilizer requirements mainly nitrogen for sweet corn throughout the life of the plant so the first reason for while we heal our sweet corn is Weed suppression so we can take the Hoss Wheel Hoe and cultivate between our rows of corn and keep the weeds Very minimal with that technique before those in row weeds are those weeds that pop up between the corn plants along the row Those are going to be a little harder to manage because our corn is spaced so closely together It’s going to be hard to get in there with a hoe and remove those weeds without damaging the plants But what we can do to reduce that in row weed pressure is to simply smother those weeds So if we throw dirt on top of those weeds, we basically smother them out. They can’t get any sunlight They can’t continue to grow and they’ll die They’re underneath that soil because they’re buried the second reason we heal our sweet corn is for plant Stabilization if you live in an area of the country where you can get some late spring or early summer thunderstorms and some high winds You probably had this happen before you’ve got your corn up and growing nicely You get a storm come through in the afternoon or at night come out the next day and your corn is blown over or leaned over but if we take dirt and Throw it up on those corn stalks that’s going to help to stabilize that plant So it’s less likely to be blown over in a high wind Situation. It’s also going to allow those roots to grip into the soil a little better Which is going to further stabilize those plants and the third reason for healing our sweet corn Is just because it makes it really easy to side dress it and apply some granular fertilizer to those corn plants So when we’re side dressing our corn plants What we’re doing is we’re applying some granular fertilizer To that corn and we don’t want to put that granular fertilizer right on top of the plants we want to put it kind of to the side of the row there and we want to take dirt and Cover that fertilizer up and because we’re already throwing dirt to the corn for weed suppression and plant Stabilization it makes it really easy to go ahead and put some fertilizer down there, too So we can cover that up as we’re working our way along the row our high arch wheel hoe with the plow set attachment in the healing position is the ideal tool for healing corn on a Smaller scale like this right here our high arch wheel hoe has a gap or space between the two tool bars and the wheels Which is going to allow you to straddle that row of corn the throw dirt to both sides in one pass It also has a nice 15 inch clearance Which is going to allow you to straddle taller plants so we can wait to this corn Gets about a foot a foot and a half tall before we come in here and heal or throw dirt to the corn now Let’s talk about the fertilizer and mainly nitrogen requirements for sweet corn So if you do a little online research, you’ll find it on the upper end of the scale the suggested nitrogen application for sweet corn is 250 pounds per acre Throughout the life of the plant. Now most of us aren’t growing an entire acre of sweet corn So we need to get those numbers and a more understandable and workable format so if we consider the number of square feet in an acre and do the calculations, we’ll come up with about 5.7 or let’s just say five-and-a-half pounds of Nitrogen, per 1,000 square foot as I mentioned earlier. This plot behind me here is 30 by 35 feet So that’s roughly a thousand square foot. So throughout the life of these corn plants I’m gonna need to put five and a half pounds of actual nitrogen on these corn plants now We don’t want to give them that entire Five-and-a-half pounds of nitrogen all at one time because we’re just going to be wasting fertilizer The corn plants are not going to be able to uptake that much nitrogen at one time So what we need to do is we need to do what we call spoon feeding So we need to break that five-and-a-half pounds up Into smaller increments and kind of spoon feed those Plants as they grow so instead of giving them five and a half pounds of nitrogen at one time what we’ll do is we’ll break that up into pound or pound and a half increments and Feed them three, four, or five times during their lifetime. We use three sources of nitrogen on our sweet corn those are our chicken manure based compost our Chilean nitrate and then our 20-20-20 now, I’ve already put some of that chicken manure compost down here beside the plants a few weeks ago So that was my first nitrogen application and I can’t really quantify the amount of nitrogen in that compost But I do know it’s pretty nitrogen-rich because it’s mainly derived from chicken manure and for our second spoon-feeding Application that’s when we’re going to use this Chilean nitrate here as we side dress and then heal our sweet corn The Chilean nitrate is a great corn fertilizer because it’s high nitrogen It’s also in a nice little granulated form there that makes it easier to sprinkle alongside those Plants and when we cover it up with dirt usually has a pretty fast action in the soil So the plants can absorb it pretty quickly So the next question everybody’s probably wondering is well how much of this do I use Based on the size of my corn plot. This Chilean nitrate here has a guaranteed analysis of 15-0-2 so what that means is it’s 15% nitrogen, so in this 10 pound bag, here we have 1.5 pounds of actual nitrogen now remember that the total nitrogen requirements for the entire life of the corn plants is going to be five-and-a-half pounds per thousand square foot and our Spoon-feeding we only want to do about a quarter of that so for this thousand square foot plot, if I put this entire bag on this plot that’s going to give me 1.5 pounds of actual nitrogen which is going to be just the right amount for a spoon feeding So we just take our Chilean nitrate and pour it into a cup or a pitcher We run alongside the road there and kind of equally sprinkle it out. Just alongside those plants here You don’t want to get it on the plants are definitely not inside the plants because it will burn the foliage but kind of just to the side of that row there so that when we come behind it with a higher arch wheel hoe that Will cover it up and kind of put it close to those plant roots so after the chicken manure and after side dressing with the Chilean nitrate We’ll have about half of our nitrogen requirements taken care of for the other three pounds there We’ll probably just break that up into two spoon feedings We’ll run some 20-20-20 with our fertilizer injector through the drip system And we’ll take care of that complete five and a half pounds of nitrogen needed for this 1,000 square feet Alright. So I hope that helped to clarify why we heal our sweet corn and also how much fertilizer how much nitrogen You need to be given to your sweet corn sweet corn is a heavy feeder It needs a lot of nitrogen relative to other plants in the garden. We want to make sure you keep it Well fed, keep it spoon fed Like we’ve talked about and you’ll have some nice big ears come summertime If you have any more questions about growing sweet corn put those in the comments below and we’ll be glad to get to them I also put some links below to our Chilean nitrate Which is a great corn fertilizer for side dressing and also our high arch wheel hoe Which is the perfect tool for healing corn on a small scale. I hope you enjoyed this video. We’ll see you next time

29 thoughts on “Hilling, Side Dressing and Fertilizing Incredible Sweet Corn

  1. nice my corn is almost ready but the beetles and worms are giving me a time twice a week l have to spray

  2. Its people like you and your dad and these informented videos is why I'm a customer for life and I only watch your channel and only buy from hoss tools.

  3. If I were wanting to turn part of my land into a corn plot (20 X 20)ish. What all do I need to do to the land between now and next spring to ensure a good harvest of corn next year? Thanks

  4. I planted my popcorn I received from your contest earlier this year. It had just started coming up when we received 5.5 inches of rain that washed it all away. Going to try and plant it again and see what happens ( I had some left out of the 1 lb. bag). Thanks for the video!

  5. So glad you guys are here helping us to grow successful gardens! This week, my early hybrid sweet corn has started to tassel, and I've been applying Spinosad after every rain. So far, so good! I really just might get some sweet corn this year! My goal is to buy a place with more land – I dream of having 1000 sq ft of garden just for sweet corn! One day soon….

  6. Good stuff Travis. Hey I can help you with you weed suppression on the end of your plots where you never plant anything? I used to hoe and chop but the last four of five years I started broadcasting black eye peas and just cover them. Plants real thick weeds will get choked out,plus it fertilized the ground. Everybody gets peas and when your done mow them down and till in the green. All the seeds will come up and give you a fall crop. It works great for me. I don't worry about stepping on them their are tuff.

  7. Glad I found your channel but is that read you running that hiller because those legs don't match those arms LOL. THANK YOU for the great videos!!!!!!!!!

  8. So I picture yall playing around in the garden all day everyday, like for a job. Is this true? That's a good life if it is

  9. Plsssss how can I get this planter?????? Also how much does it costs in US Dollars????? Thanks from Nigeria.

  10. How did you prepare the soil prior to planting?
    It appears the corn is spaced far apart; is there a reason or is that the camera?
    The rows appear to be 3' apart.

  11. Nice video! I also use a drip irrigation system with my sweet corn.

    Is side dressing effective if we never get any rain during the growing season? In Southern California we get zero rain between May and September, so all the corn’s water comes via the drip system.

    Thanks!

  12. 0:51 Instead of about a thousand square feet, it's actually 1050 sq. ft. You were pretry close. Only 50 sq. feet off. Sorry, I just like math.

  13. now wait,you saying you hill only one time and you corn will not lay down in wind and rain? ive mounded mine up 3 times and have hill rows 2 ft tall how is it possible?on your store do you have black beans,got your okra and corn and was quite impressed with the inoculant it has,i had germed and plants at soil level top in 3 days,good stuff,also back to corn,you mention corn is water and nitrogen hogs,ive been researching and the majority of gardners are saying P andK are more important especially for root growth,any way couldnt find the beans i wanted on your site but i would refer your seeds to all my friends

  14. another question ,do you do a soil texture test,im just curiouse of your soil texture ,what are your percentage stats for better growing,i live on a rock and all soil is made,im running a sandy loam this year,last year went with loam texture and didnt get any corn,tassled at 3 ft tall,first plot this year in sandy loam i got a great stand then 8.5 inches of rain wiped m,e out,but it stood 5ft tall and was starting to silk when i lost it,ditched the other seeds and giving yours a go right now,june 1st planted and this day im standing knee high,so knee high in june and corn will make as my grandpa use to tell me,we will see

  15. I always hill my corn and side dress with bloodmeal and seabird quano. I actually hill everything when I first plant except my potatoes that I hill once they rise through then repeat 2 more times.

  16. Hi 👋🏻 I’m a huge fan of yours and your tools and I always watch your videos on YouTube. I like to plant corn and I follwed your video on hilling corn and sidedressing. I sidedressed and hilled my corn the other day the way you did on the video with Urea but now, three days later, my corn leaves are all curled up during the day and I really feel that I overdid the fertilizer. I read to really try to flush out the fertilizer by watering a lot. Should that do the trick? I’m worried the plants are gonna die. Thanks for your advice.

  17. If your going to use 20-20-20 via the drip system is there a certain distance the drip system should be from the corn so it won't burn the roots? Or would water soluable fertilizer not burn the roots?

  18. I can’t justify having a high-arch wheel hoe just for corn. With the regular double wheel hoe, is there any configuration of implements that allows you to throw from one side, and them reverse direction to throw from the other side in order to hill up the corn ( or potatoes, come to think of it)?

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