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Q: when is the last date I should plant corn here in North Florida?

Q:   I want to stagger my corn plantings so I will be able to harvest corn at various times of the season.  I do not want to have too much to handle at one time. So, when is the last date I should plant corn here in North Florida?

A:   I commend you for staggering planting times in your home garden. It is a smart strategy which will allow you to gather the harvest at various times throughout the season without being overloaded with too much at one time. This will also allow time for canning or freezing the produce in smaller increments so it can be enjoyed all year long.

The corn planting season here in North Florida goes through the end of April, therefore you have plenty of time to plant a few more rows of corn. Always plant more than one row of corn.  Home gardens should have 2-3 rows of corn.  Remember to plant the corn in such a way so it does not cast a long shadow on other garden plants needing full sun.  If possible, plant the vegetable rows so they slightly curve to discourage soil erosion.

It is important to rotate your crops, which will discourage a strong build up of insects and disease in any one planting area. Planting the same crop year after year on the same site will reduce the overall harvest and quality of the produce. Several varieties do well here such as Silver Queen, How Sweet It Is, Sweet Ice, SweetRiser, and Early Sunglow. For a complete guide to home vegetable gardening check out the University of Florida publication titled “Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide”:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VH/VH02100.pdf