Sweet Corn: Jolly Roger is a heirloom sweet corn variety that originates from Mexico but has been extensively bred in Australia to grow better in our local conditions.
Sweet Corn: Jolly Roger produces one to two medium sized corn cobs per plant. Kernels are pale yellow in colour and variable in size but cobs are of fine quality with a good flavour. Because they have a higher sugar and lower starch content than other heirloom sweet corn varieties the seeds of this variety are thinner and more wrinkled when dried, however this doesn't adversely affect their germination rate.
Delicious and sweet, this variety is best steamed and eaten with a knob of butter. The husk around the cob can also be used as a tamale wrapper. The stalks of this variety grow tall which makes it suitable for use as a support for climbing beans such as in three sisters plantings (corn, beans and squash) that allow for maximum utilisation of growing space.
Sow Jolly Roger sweet corn seeds 2cm deep spacing planting holes about 50cm apart. If birds such as crows and pigeons are eating the seeds you can lay fine mesh over the planting area until the seeds begin to emerge. Corn is wind pollinated so should be sown in blocks rather than rows so that the pollen from the male flowers can easily reach all the surrounding cobs, improving pollination and resulting in fuller cobs. Sweet corn seeds take between 4 and 12 days to germinate depending on temperature. Sweet corn germinates and grows best when temperatures stay above 20 degrees Celsius. In temperate regions of Australia sow from October to January, in subtropical regions sow from August to March, in tropical regions sow any time of year. Corn should be sown in a full sun location or cob production may suffer.
Sweet Corn: Jolly Roger is a rapid grower so be sure to provide plenty of organic fertiliser such as compost or well rotted manure prior to sowing and during the growing season. If strong winds are knocking your corn plants over, tie string between two stakes along each line of plants to help support the corn stalks. If corn ear-worm caterpillars are a problem in your area apply an organic Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) solution to the silks of the cobs as soon as they start to turn brown. Jolly Roger sweet corn takes between 12 and 14 weeks from sowing to produce ripe cobs. Cobs are ready to pick when the silks have dried and turned brown, the cob should feel entirely filled out within the husk with a rounded rather than pointed tip.