I am so pleased with my sweetcorn germination - 26/28 success! I followed the Sure Guide to Great Sweetcorn article in this months Kitchen Garden magazine, and it seems pretty good so far. Basically it said to start them off in a heated propagator and when they germinate take them out and grow them on under cover until the frost risk has past - so far so good. Apart from getting the seeds to sprout in the first place, my main problem seems to be the pollination bit later on - so hopefully this year with all these plants, I am bound to get some cobs which actually have kernels..
I have been trying to grow sweetcorn for years, ever since I saw a TV programme in the early 1990s called Grow Your Greens with a very punk rock looking Sophie Grigson. There were two programmes each week - one called Grow Your Greens and another called Eat Your Greens. Anyway, for the sweetcorn programme, Sophie visited a young Bob Flowerdew in his garden. Bob was filmed (in shorts and sandals) picking the corn and rushing back to his kitchen, stripping off the husks, where a huge pot of salted water was already boiling ready to receive the golden cobs. Once the corn was cooked, Sophie and Bob sat down to devour a huge mound of corn on the cob, dripping with melted butter. It was the sexiest thing I have ever seen, and I have tried to recreate the scene ever since. (obviously with my husband rather than Bob - although.....)
To make amends to my dear husband (sorry) I must show off a picture of a fabulous gate that he built today. It has a kind of Japanesey zen quality about it, which even the council bins do not detract from - it also keeps the hens from leaving messages all over the doorstep:)