My corn patch has resulted in mature plants that average only 2 ft. tall and tiny ripe ears. The kernels on the ears are full size (but the ears are not filled out). Water has not been an issue nor has disease or insects, which leads me to believe there is a soil deficiency.

This is my first corn planting in a raised bed which has a mixture of crappy sandy fill I mistakenly bought, some heavy clay soil from the ground that I mixed in (corn from the same seeds grew well directly in my ground soil a few years back), and a few bags of fertilizer enriched compost I bought from the store. Tomatoes are growing well in the same raised beds. I know... why did I bother with a raised bed,? I am asking myself the same question!

I realize there are probably lots of potential reasons, but I would like to know the most likely/most common reason(s).

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    When do you plant the seeds? What season are you in? However, it sounds like your soil was too poor. You don't create raised beds from sand and clay. Jul 11, 2016 at 7:16
  • @Graham Chiu, thanks that's my suspicion. I am in So. Cal. USA. Do you think if I tilled in some good store bought compost I could try again this season? Jul 12, 2016 at 4:32
  • You're a couple of months late now. See this calendar for Anaheim. almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/CA/Anaheim but maybe you can either plant some late season corn, or, buy some seedlings. Jul 12, 2016 at 5:34

1 Answer 1


Stunted corn sucks. Soil needs to be top notch and the climate perfect for corn to grow. Corn is known as a devestator of soil nutrients. You need to use fertilizer when growing corn.

They suck dry the soil and basicly make it barren, so keep that in mind.

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