Vegetable Garden

Stumpy Sweetcorn

I wasn’t sure if I should bother planting the sweetcorn plants out this year. For months I nurtured and tended to them in the greenhouse; providing an extra layer of glass to increase the temperature for successful germination, covering with fleece whenever the temperature dropped ridiculously low, watering, hardening them off and whipping them in again quickly (before they blew across to my neighbour). All in all, it’s been a bit of a battle to keep them going.

Delaying planting longer than I would’ve liked, I decided to take the plunge and plant them out anyway, the worst that could happen would be instant death, rotting (drowning in the rain) or a slow wind beaten death. The sweetcorn battled through the rain, storms and gales that repeatedly battered most of the UK, despite my concerns. Although I spared the plants the worst of the weather, a combination of factors including lack of time in the ground and low light levels, unsurprisingly, contributed to their lack of height. I refer to them as ‘stumpy’ (a little over 3 feet high).

Gardening, to me, is a continuous learning process. Much like a game. It’s all about planning each sown seed and enjoying the fruits of labour when it all comes together, but, in reality, each maneuver will face challenges. There will be success and failure, mother nature will work with you and against you, sometimes all at once. But that’s one of the reasons why I love growing my own food. I appreciate what’s on my dinner plate even more.

Plenty of cobs are forming on my stumpy, heroic sweetcorn. Some of them are a decent size too. I didn’t think it possible, but maybe, just maybe (fingers crossed), I’ll be biting into delicious sweetcorn cobs this year after all. And what a tough growing year it has been.

12 thoughts on “Stumpy Sweetcorn”

  1. We’ve also had a barrage of terrible storms here in the eastern U.S. so I share your consternation, but it looks like you might actually get some decent ears of corn from your “stumpy” stalks. My fingers are crossed for you as well :)

  2. They look better than mine in east anglia – they’re about 2 feet high and haven’t formed any tassels yet. Not optimistic :-(.

  3. Good luck with the sweetcorn, Karen. They look to be doing well, apart from their height, and height can be overrated. Here’s hoping you have enough sunshine to ripen the cobs.

  4. Oh but I do love tall sweetcorn, Karin. It’s just so elegant as it rustles in the wind. It looks magic in autumn when frost hits it.

  5. I’ve never been brave enough to try growing any kind of corn here. The way winter hangs around, I usually plant the garden the first part of June and have to have everything out of the ground by late September, so am constrained to 75 days or less from planting to harvest. So your stumpy sweet corn looks amazing to me. Fresh corn on the cob with a little sweet butter and freshly ground salt and pepper brings back all kinds of happy childhood memories. Hope yours ripen so you can enjoy!

  6. Do you grow anything through winter? Rumours of good weather returning so I’m hopeful the cobs ripen. I’m used to seeing sweetcorn reach at least 8ft.

  7. Not so far, but will likely put some garlic in this fall for next year’s harvest. Just recently learned I should try planting carrots and radishes in September to see if they can be harvested in spring and I will try carrots this winter, as I have some seeds left from the spring.

    Thanks for getting me thinking about planting late fall for harvest in spring. I’m off to make a note in my calendar now!

  8. Mine are quite tall, have flowers on them but no sign of cobs yet! Fingers crossed for both of us.
    I think that your last sentence is an understatement! xx

  9. Let’s hope we all get a picking from our sweetcorn, but, even if we don’t, they’re beautiful plants to see in the veg plot.

  10. They look healthy Karen, so fingers crossed you get that wonderful experience of eating freshly picked sweetcorn this year. If you do, it will be a major triumph given how lousy a year it has been for growing edibles! And I agree about growing being a learning process, the trick is to learn and not get bogged down in the failures. Please remind me of that when I get going again next Spring!!

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