Growing at Glebelands
Name: Courgettes (Cucurbita pepo)
Family (for rotation): Cucurbits
6-8 sds/g. 1000 sds = 170g. Plant 1/m²
Sowing depth 2cm, min sowing temp 13ºC, seedling emergence 5-8 days
Seed life 5 yrs
One plant can produce 20 courgettes, with yields at least 3kg/plant
Cultivation, Sowing & Harvesting
Curgettes prefer a warm sunny site like squash, and there are the same issues with transplant quality, site preparation (fine tilth, weed strikes etc)
Ready to plant in approx 4-5 wks after sowing.
First sowing usually made under cover around the third week of April, to transplant by mid-end of May, depending on weather. Can be ready before end of June. Best to do several sowings in case one fails, or there is adverse weather once planted. At Glebelands we plant 2 rows (2ft apart) with plants 3ft apart in rows.
Must be transplanted after all risks of frost are over – plants won’t thrive in cold conditions and early plantings often “catch up” with later plantings anyway.
Higher prices are possible earlier and later in the season, while prices can fall a lot in summer gluts, so if there is space courgettes can be planted under cover – eg in a polytunnel. We have tried Partenon (self pollinating variety) in polytunnel for early season cropping, which worked well, although other growers don’t seem to have pollination problems with other varieties .
Keep picking to ensure plants keep producing – can be harder to see potential “marrows” once foliage develops, but must try & find them! May need to pick every day in sunny spells to avoid unsellable giants. Nb first fruits can be strangely shaped, but straight fruit appear soon! Male fruits can also form before female, but again should be ok...
Optimum size for commercial sales is 14cm-, and fruit must be firm and blemish free. Keep cool - put in cold bath if necessary.
Can undersow as with squash, and weed issues the same - ie the green manure must be sown into a clean seedbed, before it can out compete the crop.
Varieties – Dundoo (from Tamar) consistently good F1 variety. Light green, stripey, yellow and round varieties are all also available eg Genovese and Costa Romanesque from Tamar