September 3, 2011

Grow your own Sweetcorn 2011

Well it's certainly been a long time since I have posted anything on my blog! I haven't had a lot of time since I began working full time in London, so cooking and blogging about it has definitely taken a backseat. But I have still made time for some vegetable gardening so I thought it was about time I wrote about it! I also now have a smartphone, so taking photos and posting should be a bit easier and less time consuming!

This is the first time I've tried growing sweetcorn and it's going pretty well I think as it's blocking the view out of the kitchen window! I grew these plants from seed. They were an online freebie so I didn't get to choose the variety but they are called "Extra tender and sweet F1 hybrid" which sounds promising. They were easy to grow from seed: I just put them in 3inch pots filled with seed compost, watered, covered with cling film and left them in my mini greenhouse.

They sprouted really quickly and I put the seedlings into the raised bed when they were about 6inches tall. I read that you have to plant them in blocks so that they can pollinate properly, so I squeezed 8 plants into my 50cm x 1metre raised bed. I've got spring onions, carrots and dwarf beans growing in the spaces in between the sweetcorn and I don't think they've been competing too much for space or nutrients. I started off by feeding everything Miracle Gro, but then I read sweetcorn likes tomato feed so I switched to a weekly feed of that instead.

This is one of the cobs emerging a couple of weeks ago. I found it amazing how it suddenly appeared in the side of the trunk of the main plant. Each plant has 2 cobs growing so we will be eating quite a lot of sweetcorn quite soon!

Apparently they are ready to eat when the silks have turned dark brown and when you pierce a nice plump kernel a milky liquid is released.


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