Author Topic: More queries about Sweetcorn  (Read 1158 times)

Tiny Clanger

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More queries about Sweetcorn
« on: January 12, 2022, 18:36:45 »
The corn I grew(Lark) matured quite early. I have grown Conqueror  in the past as a "late" variety. Are there any others that mature later in the season that may be worth considering?  :wave:
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

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More queries about Sweetcorn
« on: January 12, 2022, 18:36:45 »

Paulh

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2022, 09:53:56 »
I grow "Swift" which is supposed to be ready in August - September but I've been finding is more like September, into October. Indeed, this year we picked cobs nearly every day from 17 September to 14 October. This is later than other people's sweetcorn on the same site.

I think the reason for the delay is simply that for some years now due to bad weather or having a holiday in early May I've delayed sowing the seeds until mid-May, so the plants are set out in late June.

So if you are happy with "Lark" as a variety, the answer may be to try a later sowing that will follow on from the first.

Tulipa

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2022, 15:20:41 »
Hi,

I grow Swift, I always have done and they produce a wonderful crop.  You can start sweetcorn much later than other crops and following Jeannine's method which I will post the link to below she recommends only allowing 3 weeks from sowing to planting out to avoid inhibiting the roots.  I have followed this method since I first read it and prefer to start them at the end of May for planting out in June as there is more space in the greenhouse for them by then and this gives you a later crop.  I know other people do this too although there are not so many of us left on here now!  I apologise if you already know all this!

She also recommends freezing the cobs immediately they are picked having stripped off the leaves and tassels so they are ready to cook and wrapping in clingfilm individually.  These can then be cooked in the microwave as per instruction straight from the freezer, mine take 3-4 minutes but it depends on the microwave. The actual inside of the cob does not need to be fully cooked as you are not eating it.  They are delicious done like this as they retain the "just picked" flavour as the sugars have not had time to change to starch.  I apologise if you already know this but put it for anyone new to growing sweetcorn.  I picture her running in from the garden at speed to get them frozen and do the same myself :)

The link hasn't worked so I will post it in a reply underneath


Tulipa

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2022, 15:36:19 »
The search engine is now not working so I will paraphrase and hope I get it right!  Basically Jeannine's method was to sow late, individually into peat or newspaper pots into warm compost. I always started mine with some warmth, then keep in a greenhouse for 2 weeks then harden off so that they are sown individually and then planted out with as little disturbance to the roots as possible as they get settled and growing much faster. Time from sowing to planting out not more than 3 weeks.  It has always worked brilliantly although if I remember to do it I will chit on paper towel first to only sow viable seed but most of them usually are.

Paulh

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2022, 19:06:17 »
Thanks, Tulipa, that's similar to what I've been ending up doing but I have delayed the planting out a bit longer so that the plants are beyond the wispy grass stage! I plant one seed to a deepish module.

You say: "I know other people do this too although there are not so many of us left on here now!  I apologise if you already know all this!" Please always pass on what you know. I've been gardening for decades and have had an allotment for about 15 years and I'm still willing to learn!

Tee Gee

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2022, 20:18:33 »
This is how I used to grow them, and as I recall I usually harvested a good crop.
http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Content/S/Sweetcorn/Sweet%20Corn.htm

One thing I never did was grow more than one variety at a time to ensure no cross pollination.

Click on pics to enlarge!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 20:20:13 by Tee Gee »

Deb P

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2022, 16:59:36 »
I'm also a 'surface sower' into tall rootrainers three weeks before the last frost so 2nd week of May usually, plant out 2nd week June into a protected raised bed and they romp away, always get established more quickly than early bird sowers, although last year they matured much later than before so presumably weather related.
If it's not pouring with rain, I'm either in the garden or at the lottie! Probably still there in the rain as well TBH....🥴

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Digeroo

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2022, 19:01:42 »
I put them in a 12 module tray,though I do two trays at a time and try to have 20 good plants in each batch.  And when once they start to move upwards I put them out.  Each plant is then covered in a plastic bottle and this is not removed until they are well out of the top of the bottle.
I did three succession sowings of lark and one of earlybird.  Early bird was very poor this year.  But lark produced for weeks.  I also have to put a plastic bottle over eat cob to stop the rats eating them.   I managed to stuff some netting up the bottom end so they could not push the bottles off. 

Vinlander

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2022, 16:32:09 »
If you want to start sweetcorn early then it's worth getting seedlings into the ground early - you need mulching and drainage (raised beds) to be in place now - both are valuable to ensure warmer soil.

It helps most years, but generally means planting before the last frosts, so they need a cloche over them (say a clear 2L pop bottle with the bottom cut out - & take the cap off when it gets too hot).

Unfortunately this timing is also before the mice have found spring food sources - and that means seedlings (with still-tasty seeds) need to be planted in a mouse-proof growing container that ideally joins up with the cloche above (another 2L bottle, or its lower half - any colour - with lots of holes in the sides and bottom - ideally this would be what you sowed them in).

That's a lot of bottles - the 2L cloches are useful all year round for other crops, but the holey pots use up a lot of storage in winter.

It is possible to do the same thing with half-litre bottles. The smaller underground halves work just as well, but the smaller size doesn't work so well for the upper halves - they need to be replaced with the larger version as soon as the mice are sated or a) the plants will get stuck below the necks (it's worth using the type with wider necks) and b) they are much more likely to overheat in May and cook the plant.

In London this method means chitting in March indoors and sowing chits in holey pots before the root branches - then I can risk a few plants 3 or 4 weeks early, and the rest are usually OK 2 weeks early (from mid-April, with about the same risk as planting in May without protection).

The early start means more attrition at every stage (especially in bad springs), so I need 50% more seeds - it will be no surprise that I save my own OPs &/or get F1 versions online, not from the 15p-a-seed merchants.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Tiny Clanger

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2022, 14:15:25 »
Thanks Everybody. I've  grown Lark before but it's always been ready early. Looks like I sow plant out too early. Will delay a bit fir this time. I grow one variety at the top of plot and one at the bottom (150 feet). Can't do much about the bloke next door 60 feet away. Just hope there's not too much wind  :wave:
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Deb P

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2022, 14:04:49 »
I think itís a common thing to want to push the boundaries of germination, hardening off and planting out; I have tried it in the past but have learned to have more patience now! I plant my sweetcorn in a large 7íx4í box made from old double walled polycarbonate sheeting from a conservatory OH demolished, I have 4 smaller boxes I use for courgettes. These cubes offer protection against wind rock and low temperatures and Iíve found them really useful for tender crop protection, I also use old pop bottle sleeves around each plant (no tops on them just the middle of the bottles) which I leave on the whole season and have reused them for about 12 years now, they keep the slugs deterred until the stems are established. Iíve got a pic somewhere Iíll post it if I find it!
If it's not pouring with rain, I'm either in the garden or at the lottie! Probably still there in the rain as well TBH....🥴

http://www.littleoverlaneallotments.org.uk

Deb P

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2022, 14:08:53 »
Iíve just checked, the pic I just posted was taken on 25th June last year, the sweetcorn was planted out straight from rootrainers on 5th June, so just under three weeks of growth!
If it's not pouring with rain, I'm either in the garden or at the lottie! Probably still there in the rain as well TBH....🥴

http://www.littleoverlaneallotments.org.uk

JanG

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2022, 07:22:50 »
I was interested, Vinlander, in you saving seeds from OP sweetcorn. I believe the theory for corn is that you need about 200 plants to prevent inbreeding depression. So Iíd be interested to know whether you grow that kind of quantity or whether, with fewer, that youíve found the vigour holds up. Iíve grown on for one generation with seed saved from about 50 plants, and have found that to work quite well, but have wondered whether further generations would see a slow decline.

Vinlander

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2022, 12:33:32 »
I was interested, Vinlander, in you saving seeds from OP sweetcorn. Iíve grown on for one generation with seed saved from about 50 plants, and have found that to work quite well, but have wondered whether further generations would see a slow decline.

I did replant one of the bi-colour su OP varieties at least 5 seasons - (keeping an eye out for loss of the bi-colour gene seemed a good idea) - vigour wasn't the reason I stopped either, but the flavour declined.

The 3 most important things for GYO are the flavour, the flavour and of course the flavour. I don't rate sweetness very highly either - certainly not Xtrasweet/Supersweet (Yuk) or even tendersweet - though they are wonderful for farmers, grocers and anyone without a garden.

I don't exceed 3 seasons now, and I buy a packet of cheap su F1 online in the 3rd year so I have both types growing - flavour is more important than thrift.

If you GYO you really need to taste the su varieties - but they have to be cooked within 30 minutes of picking. If your plot is too far away then get a camping stove. The difference is huge.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

JanG

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2022, 06:55:47 »
Interesting. I agree that over-sweetness masks more subtle flavours. I like some se varieties though. What commercial varieties of Su have you found available? Golden Bantam?

Vinlander

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Re: More queries about Sweetcorn
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2022, 12:36:10 »
Yes Golden Bantam, also Earliking F1, Sundance F1, Elan F1 - all at 99p for 50 from one supplier.

OP su like Golden Bantam are harder to find, but you can source "Double Standard" if you are prepared to pay 3 or 4x as much - I think this is the one I had my experience with, so it's good for a few years.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.