Allotment Sweetcorn: a new growing experience

We’re growing sweetcorn for the first time this year. I’d have to describe it, thus far, as a mixed experience. To begin with the germination was good, about 80% of the first batch of corn we put in. But the second lot (as previously discussed) was planted by himself and only 2 of the 14 kernels germinated because he planted them too deeply. The third lot didn’t come up at all, so we had around dozen seedlings, which grew beautifully in the greenhouse.

Second disaster – when we brought them outside to harden them off, things went well for a couple of days and then our idiot dog (as opposed to our intelligent dog) managed to knock the tray of seedlings to the ground, breaking four of them. Two have recovered, but are a bit stunted, two just gave up the will to live.

Then we planted the corn out at the allotment and although we knew that there was something we were supposed to do, we couldn’t quite remember what it was. The answer? Net the corn for a few weeks to keep the pigeons from pecking it out of the ground. So the next day we went back and found some of our biggest seedlings had been pecked at, and replanted them and rather belatedly, netted them.

So I’m not wholly impressed by our somewhat feeble block of corn, although I can fully recognise that the problem is with us, not with the corn itself, and I’m wondering if we’ve just been jinxed or if the reason we’ve never grown corn before is that it’s a bit of a faff and a fiddle?

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, May 21, 2009


Anonymous Amy said...

I grew it for the first time last year and didn't have too much trouble with it. Once it gets going you can leave it to its devices really. I promise it will all be worth it even if you just get 1 cob (or maybe 1 each!)

May 22, 2009 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Z said...

Funnily enough, this is the first year for ages that I haven't grown sweetcorn - not for any particular reason.

They can be a bit funny in germination, as you've found. The reason is that the temperature has to be right - too cold and they rot, too hot and they rot. Once they're up, they are fine. As long as you take the basic precautions, as you've discovered.

Oh, and once we had an influx of rats, which ate the whole crop, and a couple of years ago a cow broke out of the field, ate all the corn, plants and all, and then strolled back to her field. I suppose they're just too tasty...

May 22, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I've given up on it, because I think we're too far north for it to be worth the trouble. But I still like the idea.

May 24, 2009 at 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

We were given some USA seeds Silver Jubilee variety, and they are over 8 feet tall. First time of growing as first yr of owning allotment. Just popped them straight into the soil and that was all. We do have a very sunny plot.

August 25, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

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