Wednesday, January 26

So will you be growing marrettes or courgows this year?

I wonder whether this year we will resist the urge to plant too many courgettes. We weren’t as inundated with fruits last year as in previous years but I think this was maybe down to the weather rather than anything else. We still harvested some as marrettes or courgows. We staggered the sowing times so that some plants matured later than others which seemed to work. Last year we tried to grow just two varieties Zucchini and Jemmer but then a magazine gave away a free packet of another variety which we just had to plant. This years starting point will be Zucchini and Jemmer again which will give us a green and a yellow variety.

We are sticking with our favourite squash Crown Prince as over the years we have found that this is a really good keeper. A new variety that we are going to try is Autumn Crown. According to the description it has been bred specially for the UK climate. It is said to have the flavour of melon and be a good keeper – we will see.
We had our best success yet with melons last year. This was still a limited success as we only managed three small melons – one of which was eaten by slugs before we noticed it. However, this was three melons more than we have managed in the past. To be honest we didn’t give the plants the attention they deserved as we pessimistically didn’t really expect them to produce anything. Anyway we are giving the same variety Noir des Carmes another try this year and promise that we will try to look after it better.

For several years now we have grown Burpless Tasty Green cucumbers successfully both in the greenhouse and outdoors. The plants growing outside were actually more prolific than those growing in the greenhouse. Not exactly an inspiring name but the variety has kept us supplied with cucumbers and so is on our list again. Maybe this year we’ll be a bit more efficient in getting it to climb rather than leaving it to trail on the ground but often best intentions are over-ruled by something that needs more urgent attention. I could be tempted by the mini cucumbers but the seed is really expensive and I wonder whether they are worth it?


  1. I'm growing a green courgette as usual this year, but also gowing a yellow variety, a first for me. I've also got another green variety which is said to do well in containers, well you can't have too many can you? I'm growing marrows for the first time this year too. I tried the mini cucumbers last year but they just didn't want to grow for me. I've got a different variety this year to try again. The seed is expensive but I got the packet in the Wyevale sale for 50p. The sale's really good for picking up expensive seed. I also got an all female variety for 50p so a good saving there.

  2. I had only one courgette plant last year and it was enough for us. This year I will plant maybe two.
    I will also be growing only one cucumber variety that is producing very well, it's called Marketmore. I will grow it in the garden and in the greenhouse. I am little worried about pollination in the greenhouse, but they are safe there from rain and disease.

    We don't eat squash, so no squash in my garden this year.

  3. I will being growing, marrows, courgettes, pumpkin, cucumbers and butternut squash...well that's the theory anyway. I haven't ever grown the mini cucumbers and I don't think I will friend has grown them but they are just gherkins really and incredibly spiky when picked and then you have to pickle them....with the spikes i don't think there is any other way to eat them. I am the only one at home who eats gherkins so i think it would be a wast to grow any given the price as a jar from the store lasts me a year.

  4. We love the yellow ones Jo. Hope your mini cucumbers fo well this year.

    Maybe pollination is why the outdoor planted ones did better for us Ana. They didn't seem to mind the horrible weather but then again it is a tough variety.

    Some varieties are advertsied as being good for popping in lunch boxes Tanya and so they must taste OK raw. The photo in the seed catalogue shows smooth skins too. I think it's down to which variety you grow. The ones I class as minis are really expensive seeds and you only get about 4-6 in a packet!

  5. We just call them zucchini and yellow squash and I will be growing both this year.

  6. I usually plant one zucchini, which is enough for us. This year I will plant two, one later then the other since the SVB's got my one plant last year.

    I will also plant 5 Spaghetti Squash, 1 Sweet Dumpling Squash, 2 pumpkins (1 for eating & 1 for my grandson), and I think 1 or maybe 2 watermelon.

    I am planning to grow a couple of varieties of pickling cucumbers since my husband just loves sweet gherkin pickles and 1 slicing variety.

    I almost forgot the cantaloupe, this year I will be planting two varieties, one that we just love called Delicious and a French variety which the seed was given to me by a fellow blogger.

    I think that's it!

  7. Hi Becky - It's funny really you call them zucchini the Italian word and we call them courgettes the French word. So is it the yellow courgettes that you call yellow squash?

    I hope we manage to do better with our melons this year Robin. As for the zucchini/courgettes we freeze some and also pester people to take some off our hands - on the plot it is a race to get to the victims first!

  8. Great photos! I'm growing a handful of zucchini (not that we need that many!) as I'm seduced by the colours and shapes of the fruits.. Our top pick is the Lebanese types (Magda, Kousa), but we also love the pattypan zucchini.. and Costata Romanesco is divine! Thanks for your picks.. I may have to add a few more to our garden! :)

  9. YRVg There are just so many to tempt you aren't there. WE have to be strong willed!

  10. We're not so keen on courgettes, so I don't grow them, but last year I grew a marrow called "Bush Baby" which is very compact, and the fruits are only about two-thirds of the size of a "normal" marrow, so it is great for small gardens and small families. The fruits were really nice to eat as well.
    My view on the price of seeds is - just think what you would pay for the veg in a shop. This often puts a whole new perspective on the matter!

  11. Unless I am paid a vast amount there shall be NO blasted courgettes ever grown on my plots again - yuck I hate them and i hate the way they mock me by growing so easily and so abundantly. NO courgettes - I'm banning them - same goes for cucumbers!! *grrrr - you know what buttons to push!*
    Squashes?? - ummmm yes please, lots and lots of them :)
    *mutters about blasted courgettes - damn them all...*

  12. And just so we're clear....NO courgettes!

  13. It's not really the price of seeds per se Mark - just if you only get four and none grow. We do spend lots on seed but tend to get more in a packet so more chance of success.

    Let's just get this straight Carrie - you don't like courgettes - is that what you are trying to say?

  14. Well I love courgettes, in salads, roasted, in bread or muffins, bring them on! I intend to grow yellow ones again this year, just three plants. And various squashes now that I have the room. But no cucumbers because none of the rest of the household eats them, and not melons because I don't eat them!

  15. I love melons Janet although some that you buy that are rock hard a flavourless are a turn off.

    I think the practice of picking fruit unripe just doesn't work as in most cases it is yje ripening in the sun that creates the sweet flavour.

  16. Like they say... plant two courgettes and hope one of them dies!

    Actually I love them and plant several varieties every year, green, yellow and knobbly.
    Can't get enough of em.

  17. Don't let everyone hear that Janet or they'll be round your place with a sack of them.


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