Out of the four sweet corn kernels I took from my saved cob (post here), three germinated successfully. Initially it looked like all four had started to throw out a root but one stopped at a couple of millimeters but still, a 75% germination rate is pretty impressive in my biased opinion, especially from saved seed. Of course getting the seed to germinate is only part of the story and the real test will come as the season progresses and the plants grow, hopefully producing their own fat, juicy ears in due course.
From everything I have read, long term, saving seed from just one plant each year is not a feasible plan, as this will cause problems in the future due to inbreeding. It seems that I need to collect seed from at least 100 plants each year, thereby creating a more diverse genetic base but this is wholly impractical for a small home grower and so I will need to give the matter some thought. On a more positive note, corn seed can be stored for up to 3 years and so it may be a year or two before I really need to consider my options and by then I will have first hand knowledge about the performance (or not) of the seed saved from last year.
But back to my three little sweet corn sprouts. I have documented in previous posts my inability to thin out or dispose of surplus seedlings and with each of the germinated sweet corn seeds now also sporting a small shoot approximately 4mm to 5mm tall, as well as a root, I decided to carefully plant these into some of the empty modules in the seed trays. Unfortunately, the tip of one of the shoots has been damaged and I don’t believe that the seedling will grow now but I have still planted it. In the last 24 hours all three seedlings have put on another cm of growth, so for now they seem happy in their new home.
The carrot seeds haven’t germinated yet but then they aren’t due to show their faces for another few days and so I am keeping the kitchen towel damp and we shall see what happens.