Our sweetcorn are now cropping.
Its a fantastic vegetable, very simple to grow and always tastier than the stuff you buy at the supermarket.
This year for the first time we “chitted” the seed. Chitting means that we put the seed in a damp place (between a couple of pieces of wet kitchen paper) and waited a couple of days until the roots showed, then sowed the chitted seed one to a 7cm pot of compost.
The benefit of doing this is that you don’t waste your time on seeds that aren’t going to germinate, nor do you end up with multiple plants in a pot.
The plants were then grown on until after the last of the frosts and then transplanted into the allotment in blocks of plants about 12 – 18 inches apart. The reason for planting in blocks is because sweetcorn is wind pollenated so you want as many plants close together as possible.
Its all been very successful so far, and it looks like we’re going to get between 1.5 and 2 cobs per plant.
As well as eating them as corn-on-the-cob, its easy to strip the corn off the cobs. Many people suggest that you strip the corn off using a knife but we find that this means you end up chopping most of the corn in half. So what we do is the blanch the cobs for about four minutes then run a knife up one of the lines of corn to remove it. Then you can use you thumbs to push the next row of corn into the gap and the individual corn will fall off. These can then either be cooked (we love adding sweetcorn and peas to rice) or open frozen to be used through the winter.
Another way of cooking corn-on-the-cob that we have discovered is to wrap the whole cob in tinfoil with a bit of butter and pepper and then cook it in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes. Lovely.