Sweet Corn and Organic Fertilizers: Agronomist-Tested Organic Fertilizers for Growing Corn

Sweet Corn and Organic Fertilizers: Agronomist-Tested Organic Fertilizers for Growing Corn

Updated June 11, 2024

Growing corn with organic fertilizers can be tricky. Cultivating corn with organic fertilizers that is both robust and healthy requires more than just basic gardening skills; it demands an understanding of the best organic practices. The new Dual Action Organic Fertilizers have been rigorously tested and proven to boost corn crop yields by independent growers as shown below. Corn is one of the most versatile and widely consumed crops across the globe. From its traditional uses as food in various cuisines to fuel production, corn has proven to be a staple in both dietary and industrial realms. Discover the power of organic fertilizers: a breakthrough in gardening!

Understanding Corn: Its Needs and Growth Stages

Corn thrives in environments that provide full sunlight, ample water, and well-drained, fertile soil. It has a relatively high demand for nutrients, especially during the peak of its growing season. The growth of corn can be broken down into several stages, from germination and leaf development to tasseling, pollination, and finally, the maturity of corn ears. Each of these stages has specific nutritional needs that, if met adequately, can lead to a bountiful harvest of large, succulent corn ears.

The Role of Organic Fertilizers in Corn Cultivation

What Makes Organic Fertilizers So Essential for Corn?

Organic fertilizers differ from their synthetic counterparts by being derived from natural sources such as compost, manure, bone meal, and seaweed. These fertilizers release nutrients slowly into the soil, enhancing soil structure, increasing water retention, and encouraging healthy root development. The Michigan State University Extension leading expert says organic fertilizers offer better soil, steady nutrient supply, and improved water retention, among other benefits [1]. For corn, which is a heavy feeder, the sustained release of nutrients is beneficial for continuous growth throughout the season.

Choosing the Right Organic Fertilizer for Corn

When selecting an organic fertilizer for corn, it is crucial to consider the nutrient balance, particularly the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) content, commonly referred to as the NPK ratio. Corn requires a higher amount of nitrogen to support its rapid growth and development, especially during the early stages of leaf development. A well-balanced organic fertilizer might include:

  • Fish emulsion or blood meal for nitrogen: These are excellent sources of nitrogen and help in vigorous early growth.
  • Bone meal or rock phosphate for phosphorus: Essential for energy transfer and photosynthesis, phosphorus supports the development of roots and the growth of seeds.
  • Greens and or wood ash for potassium: Potassium is crucial for overall plant health and disease resistance.
  • Dual Action Organic Fertilizers: There are a new generation of balanced, non-burning, and nutrient-rich organic fertilizers that go a step further in not only producing great produce but provide clean water benefits for the alchemy of agriculture with water. When selecting organic fertilizers for your carrots and other plants, opt for products that provide a balanced blend of macro and micro nutrients to meet the specific needs of vegetables like carrots, and look for labels indicating the NPK ratio, as well as the presence of additional micronutrients such as NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizers. These organic fertilizers have been rigorously tested and proven to boost corn crop yields by independent growers - the field trial results are described below.

Application Tips for Best Results

Applying organic fertilizer correctly is as important as choosing the right type. For corn, fertilize at planting and again when the plants are about knee-high, a crucial time just before rapid growth and ear development. Incorporate the fertilizer into the soil around the plants, being careful not to disturb the roots, and water thoroughly to help the nutrients seep into the soil.

NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizers for Boosting Plant Growth and Clean Water

Advantages of Using Organic Fertilizers in Corn Production

The benefits of using organic fertilizers extend beyond just nutrient supply:

  • Improved soil structure: Organic fertilizers contribute organic matter to the soil, enhancing its structure and ability to hold water and nutrients.
  • Sustainable farming: By using organic fertilizers, you're participating in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize soil degradation and pollution, contributing to a healthier ecosystem.
  • Enhanced plant health and resistance: Plants grown organically are often more resistant to pests and diseases due to stronger root systems and improved overall health.

Corn Fertilizer Schedule

Understanding the timing and stages of corn growth can significantly enhance your ability to cultivate corn effectively using organic fertilizers.

Corn Growing Season: When to Plant for Perfect Harvest

The ideal time to plant corn is after the last frost of the spring to ensure the soil is warm enough, typically above 50°F (10°C), which is crucial for germination. In most temperate zones, this translates to planting in mid to late spring. The timing is crucial because corn requires a sufficiently long period of warm, sunny weather to reach maturity.

Corn Growth Time and Stages: From Seed to Harvest

The lifecycle of corn is divided into several distinct stages, each critical to the development of the crop:

  1. Germination and Emergence: After planting, the first shoots appear within 5-10 days depending on soil temperature.
  2. Vegetative Stages: This phase is marked by the development of leaves and stems, requiring high amounts of nitrogen.
  3. Reproductive Stages: The tasseling, pollination, and ear development occur. This stage demands continued nutrition, especially phosphorus and potassium, to support the development of kernels.
  4. Maturation: The corn plants begin drying out as they prepare for harvest, which usually occurs 20-30 days after pollination, depending on the variety and environmental conditions.

The 68-day journey of a corn plant spans from the seedling stage, through determining the number of kernel rows, to silking, and finally culminating in a fully developed corn on the cob. [2].

NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizers for Boosting Plant Growth and Clean Water

Does Organic Fertilizer Help Corn Grow?

In 2018 and 2019, one of the Northeast's leading University Extension program [3] embarked on an exciting journey to test the effectiveness of NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizer against a well-known commercial brand and a control group without treatment.

Application rate: 100 lbs N ac-1
Planting date: 12-June
Harvest date: 26-August
Variety: Trinity F1
Seeds: 24,000 seeds per acre planted with a John Deere 1750 corn planter

The results? Remarkable!

Key Findings of the Field Trials:

  • Crop Yield: When it came to organic corn production, NutriHarvest® took the lead. The use of NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizer resulted in an impressive increase of 639 lbs per acre (about 11.4 bushels per acre), towering plant growth by 11 cm, and a substantial boost in harvest population by 2,323 plants per acre. This indicates not just higher yields but also more plant mass per acre!

  • Soil Health: Soil nitrate levels were consistent across the board, except for a notable date, June 19th. On this day, NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizer showed its true colors by releasing 45% less nitrate into the soil than traditional synthetic fertilizers. This highlights its slow-release feature, which is gentler on the earth.
  • Overall Performance: Despite these standout results, it's important to note that when comparing overall corn yield, plant height, population, and ear length across all three treatments (NutriHarvest®, the commercial brand, and untreated control), there were no significant differences. This suggests that NutriHarvest® matches or exceeds the performance of conventional options while offering the benefits of organic farming.

National Corn on the Cob Day

National Corn on the Cob Day, celebrated annually on June 11th, is a whimsical holiday dedicated to enjoying one of summer's quintessential pleasures—corn on the cob. This Day has deep historical roots stretching back over 150 years. Its origins are intertwined with Native American culture, where corn was not merely a crop but a cornerstone of life [4]. Corn, or maize, was cultivated and revered by many Native American tribes across the continent, playing a crucial role in their diet, economy, and culture.

Today, National Corn on the Cob Day serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of corn as a staple food and its continuous influence on culinary practices and seasonal celebrations. This day encourages everyone to relish the simple joy of eating freshly cooked corn, whether boiled, grilled, or steamed, and often slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt. It’s a time for communities and families to gather, often at barbecues or summer picnics, to savor this seasonal delight. The day also offers a fantastic opportunity to explore different toppings and flavors—from classic butter and salt to adventurous spices and herbs—making each ear of corn a personalized treat. As we celebrate, it's also a moment to appreciate the farmers and agricultural practices that bring this staple crop from the fields to our tables each year.

NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizers


NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizers


Final Thoughts

Growing corn using organic fertilizers can be incredibly rewarding. It not only produces healthier and more nutritious corn but also contributes to a more sustainable environment. By understanding the specific needs of corn at various stages of its growth and choosing the right organic fertilizers, you can ensure a successful harvest that is truly gratifying. Integrating nutrient rich organic fertilizers like NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizers into our gardening practices represents a tangible action towards sustainable living. It works for all growers whether you want to enjoy your beautiful backyard garden or cultivating a sustainable greenhouse business growing plants or have a thriving farm tending corn and other crops. This approach not only benefits the immediate health of our gardens and farms but also contributes to a legacy of environmental care

Remember, the key to successful organic corn production lies in maintaining the balance of nature by enriching the soil naturally and responsibly. Organic Fertilizer is more than just a nutrient supplier; it's a step towards sustainable and productive farming. Its slow-release formula not only supports healthier soil but also promotes increased biomass, making it an ideal choice for those seeking to boost nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium levels in their crops without the environmental toll of synthetic fertilizers.

If you're looking to elevate your farming practices with a product that delivers on its promises, NutriHarvest® Organic Fertilizer might just be the solution you've been searching for. Embrace the organic revolution and witness the remarkable difference in your harvest today! Happy gardening!


[1] What organic fertilizers mean to plants and soil. George Silva, Michigan State University Extension. 

[2] Corn Growth and Management Quick Guide by Duane Berglund, professor emeritus and former Extension agronomist, North Dakota State University (NDSU); Gregory Endres, Extension cropping systems specialist, NDSU; and D.A. McWilliams, formerly of the University of Minnesota and NDSU, 1999.

[3] Closing the Nutrient Loop Through an Innovative Organic Fertilizer Technology Field Tested for Corn. The University of Vermont Extension.

[4] National Corn on the Cob Day. Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAND)

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