Soil quality is important for gardening. Some plants, like corn, are not demanding about the soil they are grown in, however all plants have certain requirements which must be met. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are required by all plants, along with trace elements such as molybdenum and manganese. In general, corn requires nothing special in either nutrients, acidity or moisture, preferring an average soil to thicker soils higher in nutrients.
Loosen Soil for Young Roots
Soil to be used for growing corn needs to be loosened to a depth of around 6 to 8 inches. This allows the new roots to grow and allows them to have easier access to the nutrients contained in the soil. For the best corn, use a mix of loamy soil and sand, providing the necessary nutrients without restricting the growth of roots. No matter how fertile the soil may be, it is not suitable for corn unless it is loose enough to allow roots to grow.
Fertilizing with Compost
For any type of gardening, including growing corn, having a compost heap is the best way to include all necessary minerals for proper plant growth. Compost is highly fertile soil that is made by mixing household and yard waste, it is high in nutrients and vital soil fungi and microorganisms. Compost is not only 100% organic, it is also one of the best fertilizers as far as the nutrients and microorganisms it contains as well.
Corn and Soil Acidity
Corn is a relatively tolerant plant and as long as the pH of the soil is between 6.3 and 6.8 it should grow well. If the soil acidity is too high, treat it with dolomitic limestone, added at 1 pound for every 100 square feet. Grow your corn in 10 foot by 10 foot sections, testing and treating the soil in sections rather than trusting one soil test to be the judge of your entire garden area. If you are in doubt about the acidity of the soil, treat with half the normal limestone treatment, just to be safe. Corn will do better if the soil pH is too low rather than if it is too high.
Soil Moisture for Growing Corn
When digging into the soil where corn will be grown, a spade should be able to dig in easily and the dirt should not stick to the blade when it is flipped over. If the soil sticks to the blade of a spade, there is too much moisture which can cause roots and plant stems to rot, resulting in poor plant growth. If the spoil holds too much moisture, mix sand into it to increase water drainage.
The Best Soil for Corn
Ideally, corn should be grown in a loamy soil that has a light mix of added sand. It should be moist, but not wet, and should have a medium soil acidity. Make sure that the soil has plenty nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, and your crop will probably grow well and strong. Of all the vegetable plants in your garden, corn is one of the strongest and least particular and as long as it's basic needs are met, corn will thrive.