Friday 9 February 2024

In My Seed Box For 2024 - Sweetcorn


My daughter Kelly declared early on in my ownership of an allotment that all sweetcorn grown was hers. Historically we have had some great harvests and the two types of corn that I have grown between 2013 - 2019 have been Swift and Lark F1. 2017 was extremely disappointing but it would appear that most people in the UK had a bad year with their Sweetcorn. 

In 2019 Marshalls sent me two different varieties to trial which were Alliance F1 and Tyson F1 again due to the leg injury I didn't get the infrastructure in to trial both varieties in 2019. 

The results with Marshalls Alliance F1 Hybrid Sweetcorn were nothing more than spectacular (see photos of harvest here) and I have to say they were the best Sweetcorn that I have grown to date, Tyson F1 grown in 2021 were good but not as good as Alliance. 

In 2022 I attempted to grow Marshalls Moonshine F1 - 50 Seeds - £2.99 - packed year ending 03/21 and best before date 09/2022 The germination rate was less that 40% and what did finally grow got hit by the rats with fluffy tails that run along the top of the wall that's built on my plot boundary.

A second planting of Sweetcorn Picasso F1  - 35 Seeds - a New Variety to Mr Fothergill's in 2022 was tried, the germination rate was poor and then the rats with fluffy tails hit regardless of the pop bottles I had placed over the corns and I ended up with only 8 corns that were viable. Worst year for sweetcorn ever. 

In 2023 I tried growing Sweet Corn Illusion F1 - 25 Seeds - a new variety from Dobies & Sweet Corn Eden F1 - Suttons Germination rates were down, but once again the rats with fluffy tails just beat us to some of the sweetcorn and our harvests were as good as in previous years.

I still have Sweet Corn Pot Of Gold F1 - Suttons - 20 Seeds - Cost £4.99 - Item Code 10 02 99 - that was Packed year ending 2023 and has a Sow By 2026 date. 

A 21 hole planting sheet would be ideal if there is 100% germination, 18 hole works for a 90% germination rate. 

There are no seed companies adding new varieties to their catalogues this year for me to trial for free. The family made a decided to go for two beds of sweetcorn to try and get a better harvest as we now appear to have to share with our fluffy wildlife on the allotment. 

At the moment I have the beds together, so I can cover them with an ultrasonic pest defender, so I have purchased two packs of Swift F1 from Premier Seeds Direct. There are 45 seeds in a pack and they are selling them for £1.49 per pack. Dependant upon the germination rate I have the planting membrane below to accommodate 100% germination rate or less. 

Why buy two packs?, at that price I may as well just encase of a germination disaster like we have had in the last couple of years. If no disaster I have a pack for next year and can move the two beds further apart to prevent cross pollination between varieties.   

Dobies have sent me a pack of Popcorn Fiesta Average 40 seeds on a pack for £2.99 now I need to find somewhere to shoe horn these in this year or perhaps leave them until next year 

Planting Membrane for Sweetcorn 

I have 3 different planting membranes that can be used for sweet corn they are 18, 21 & 24 holes and look like this 

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