Saturday, 18 August 2012

Not So Sweet Corn

This year was supposed to be my Year Of The Sweet Corn. Before I had my allotment, I successfully grew sweet corn in containers in the garden. The pots I used were buckets which were just slightly larger than normal utility buckets, and I potted up two plants to each container. Sweet corn is wind pollinated so I stood all the containers next to each other to help with pollination. Since I've had my allotment, things have gone downhill. I haven't managed to grow any decent sweet corn for the past three years, so at the start of the year I decided that I would go all out to produce some decent cobs this year. Unfortunately, the weather has conspired against me and it doesn't look as though I'll be harvesting anything decent off my plants yet again. Although the pollen bearing tassels have been produced and silks are showing, the actual plants themselves are only between a foot and two feet high and the cobs feel empty. The better weather we've had just lately may bring them on yet, but it doesn't seem likely.

Hubby has been tidying up the front garden this week. It tends to get overlooked in favour of the back garden and allotment, so it was in a bit of a state, even though there's only a small flower bed. I've had some crocosmia here for a few years now, but it just doesn't seem to want to flower, it obviously doesn't like it's situation. My son got the electric shears out and gave the hedge a good trim, it was desperate for it as it was so overgrown. All that's left to do now is weed between the block paving, a job I hate.

According to some news reports, today is supposed to be the hottest day of the year. It's typical then that it's clouded over and we've already had a few spots of rain. It's not surprising though, my son is just on his way out to play cricket. It's been the norm this year for rain to stop play.


  1. Sorry about your corn, Jo. It isn't a vegetable I associate with England -- it's the largest commercial crop over here. I don't grow it, but we buy it from a local farm stand daily. I hope your son is getting a decent, dry game of cricket. P. x

  2. I feel you sweet corn doesn't even have tassles! I may try your previous method of growing them in buckets for next year. I'm really getting fed up with dedicating valuable growing space to crops that fail miserably. I suppose we'll all end up growing turnips and cabbage if these dreadful summers continue.

  3. Our sweetcorn made a very slow start but in recent weeks it's grown rapidly. There is corn on each plant but i've yet to find out whether the cobs are complete.
    Love from Mum

  4. I gave up on sweet corn years ago - or should I say it gave up on me. Hope they turn out ok in the end, finger crossed for you.

  5. It's just bad luck that this year has been a mare. Courgettes have only just started producing and the first runner bean has just reached the top of the pole. and this is mid August! Anything more sensitive/exotic hasn't stood a chance this year (or the previous two) in Scotland. I notice that shop sweetcorn prices are not coming down as they normally do at this time of year, so it seems the commercial growers have had problems too.

  6. If your crocosmia clump is really thick Jo it may need thinning out as this can cause it to stop flowering. Dig it up and replant only the largest corms.

  7. I think the weather this year has affected everything. I am hoping to grow sweetcorn next year.

  8. Hi Jo
    I haven't given up on our sweet corn just yet. I don't think the weather this summer has been good enough for it - just too cool - rather than how you grow it.

  9. Only tried it twice but not worked either time. Maybe we'll get an Indian Summer and that might ripen yours. Fingers crossed I'm hoping for a dry spell to dry out the plot.

  10. Hi Jo, I could not even get my sweetcorn seeds to germinate and the couple that did got eaten! Hopefully your corn will come to something.

  11. I think corn is becoming more popular over here, Pam. Cricket went ahead as the day came good in the end.

    I think it will be rice on my allotment, Tanya, it's certainly wet enough this year. It's annoying to give up space for a crop just for it to fail each year.

    That's the problem with corn, Mum. Even when it looks good, it can disappoint at the last minute if the cobs aren't complete. Hope you get a great harvest.

    Thanks, Elaine. I'm not giving up yet, I won't let it beat me.

    I think all veg is really expensive this year, Mal, a knock on effect of this year's weather. Hope we all get a better summer next year.

    The crocosmia clump isn't thick, Sue. There's two clumps which have never flowered, though the leaves look much healthier this year than in previous years. I may leave it next year and if it doesn't do anything then, I'll do as you suggest.

    I hope you have more success with your sweet corn next year than I have so far at the allotment, A Whole Plot Of Love. I think you're right about the weather though, it's spoilt many crops this year.

    I think you're right, Martyn. If this warmer weather continues we might all get some surprises. As it is, the sweet corn is the best I've managed so far on the plot, even if it doesn't come to anything.

    I'm still hoping for an Indian summer, Wellywoman. I'm sure lots of crops would come good if we just got a bit of sunshine.

    I think that's the story of this year, Sharon, seedlings being eaten. It certainly is here. I'm hoping we get a much drier year next year so there aren't so many slugs around.

  12. I've only had one good year with sweet corn but keep trying all the same. Perhaps you try growing it at home and on the plot next year.
    I hope that you had a good weekend. Flighty xx

  13. My sweet corn is struggling too Jo and I'm not optimistic that there is going to anything to eat :( I think that the south of the country has experienced the really hot weather but it has been a reasonable weekend here - some sunshine, some rain :)

  14. I hope your sweetcorn's OK Jo, I've had one good year and one bad so far. This season I've got 60 plants up the allotment so a big investment, fingers crossed they will ripen.

  15. I think that would be a good idea, Flighty, growing at home as well as on the plot. It would double my chances of getting a decent harvest.

    Fingers crossed for all our sweet corn, Anna. I keep saying it, there's time yet.

    Thanks, Damo. 60 plants is a big investment so I hope they do really well for you.

  16. My corn isn't doing so well this year either but I am still praying for something to harvest...I think my baby-corn plants are actually bigger than my standards!!

    I have spent some time in the garden this week too which it badly I really need to get down the allotment again before things get out of hand down there!!

  17. It's a balancing act between allotment and garden, Tanya. The front garden is straight again, but the back needs some work on it, as does the allotment. Hope your sweet corn comes good.


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