Will corn and beans grow at 6000 thousand feet above sea level?

Asked November 5, 2017, 10:59 AM EST

Will corn and beans grow above 6000 feet above sea level.

Tennessee vegetables

1 Response

Thank you for your question about corn and beans. At high altitudes, the factors that are of concern are temperature (both of the air and the soil), the amount of rainfall, and the length of the growing season. The actual altitude is not the issue; it is how this generally cooler environment impacts the growing season for any given plant type.

Since you didn't indicate your county, it is impossible for me to know exactly what USDA zone you are in, so I can't know what your average historical low winter temperatures are to know something about your soil temperature which, according to this Extension article needs to be at least 60 degrees for the corn to germinate. That same article indicates that you need a growing period of 78 to 93 days (depending on the variety of corn) from germination until ripeness. Perhaps you can review Table 2 in that article to see if your area has enough warm days to complete a growing period. (Corn is a warm weather, heavy feeding crop.)

Beans are a legume and often can be grown nearly year round, but, again, without knowing your USDA zone, I don't know where in the -20 to 10 degrees F average lowest winter temperature you live. Here is another Extension article with a couple of tables helpful for growing fall vegetables (and Table 2 may give you helpful information about the historical first frost dates, which is useful for both corn and beans).

I hope this is helpful to you. If none of this information provides the answers you need, please contact your county Extension office and they may have more specific data to assist you. Good luck!