The sweet corn is now ready for harvesting, this is the first time we have grown sweet corn and to be honest I was not certain of any success with it. I put our ‘luck’ down to a very warm spring and early summer, just what the young plants needed to put on steady growth. I hand pollinated the silks by tapping the tassels to release the pollen, as well as running my hands over the tassels and then over the silks. Not sure if this helped or not, the hoverflies and bees were just as interested.
For me, I would describe the taste as not that different to shop bought corn cobs, but oh, how juicy! I will certainly try and grow corn again next season, its well worth the wait.
Our sweetcorn is doing pretty well, the male tassels (flowers) at the top are standing proud and the female silks are starting to show. Now we are coming to the crucial time that could render our first attempt at growing sweetcorn (from seed I might add) either a tasty success or a total failure.
Wind pollination along with planting in a block rather than a row will help to pollinate the silks, but, I shall also aid nature a little and try to hand pollinate as well. Anyone else done this before? Any tips? So far I have the following advice:
Tap the tassel flower when fully open to distribute the pollen to the silks below, or, run your hand up and down the tassel and then do the same to the silks to release the pollen.
As you can see we have at least 3 silks per plant, whether or not all become pollinated is any ones guess. I have a few pollinating ideas up my sleeve (oh dear that sounds a bit odd) so I shall try different methods on different plants and see how we go.
I love sowing seeds and waiting for them to germinate, be it vegetable or flowers it doesn’t matter, I find the waiting equally as rewarding. The sign of life within the soil, a little green seedling looking for the light. I’ve had a bash at sowing sweet corn, all the seeds germinated and the young seedlings are looking nice and healthy so far. I cannot wait to plant these out once the danger of frost is over. The height, the flowers, the crop that these seedlings hopefully will bring is very exciting to say the least. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Sweet corn is wind pollinated, planting in blocks rather than rows will increase the chances of successful pollination.
Other sowings this week have been tomatoes, courgettes and chillies, now cooking away in the propagator. Our chillies did reasonably well last year, although they refused to redden until brought inside. Sprouts and cauliflower are doing well in the outside mini greenhouse. Runner beans are next on the list for sowing as well as peas, beets, carrots and parsnips.
So far I have resisted buying in vegetable seedlings whilst browsing around mums local (and very reasonable) nursery. Who knows, it could all go boobies up and I may need to rush back there after all.
A quick update on how the vegetable garden is progressing and what we are now sowing and growing. We had gravel boards delivered on Sunday with every intention of getting some frames built, but due to terrible weather conditions this was not possible to finish. We did get some more digging and weeding done, as well as digging in tons of organic matter to feed the soil.
The broad beans we potted up are germinating nicely on the window sill and are ready to plant out. Our garlic is going great guns, fingers crossed tightly that the very frosty weather recently has helped the cloves to split, seeing as we potted them up late. We are now sowing Brussels sprouts, sweet corn and cauliflower. Once the beds are completed the potatoes will be planted out as well as 2 varieties of onion sets.
The photo is a runner bean germinating from last year. We will be starting our runners off in pots this year, rather than sowing directly into the ground due to a terrible time with the seed beans being eaten below soil level. This meant we had to do a very late sowing of runners in pots and hope for the best. Due to a warm snap at the end of summer we were lucky to get a couple of harvests, but this year we hope to harvest a lot more.
We’re not lucky enough to have a glass greenhouse so windowsill space is getting tight. We purchased a mini greenhouse, yeah we know they are a bit flimsy but it helps out with sowing space!