Friday 9th May we began sowing the seed for the highly anticipated Maize Maze on the site of the old glasshouse. It was the sunflowers we began with, sowing 5,000 seeds of a cultivar from Thompson and Morgan called ‘Bicentenary’ that was named in honour of the RHS’s 200th birthday in 2004. We’ve got this along the front and sides of the area in a 1m border.
On Monday 12th May we sowed the maize, another Thompson and Morgan cultivar (available to buy in 2010). It’s a sweetcorn called ‘Rising Sun’, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like.
Sweetcorn is a wind pollinated plant, so for good pollination (and therefore a good crop), it is traditionally grown in a block. (The male flowers are the tasselly bits at the top, and the wind and gravity help to pollinate the female flowers below, which then develop into the sweetcorn cobs themselves.) Ours is a rather large plot, at over 60m x 60m, and we’ve sown around 60,000 sweetcorn seeds, in rows 45cm apart. They’ve had a spot of rain and some additional watering, and are already beginning to germinate.
Next Wednesday, as part of the half term activities, we will be inviting children to pot up some sweetcorn plants, and help plant out the bedding for the entrance way to the maze.
I’ll keep you posted on how the maze is growing and developing.