Grow your own courgettes: What to plant, when to plant it... and why size really does matter
Mark Diacono shares his tips on the surprisingly simple yet hugely rewarding art of growing courgettes.
Despite all the progress with gender stereotypes, there are a few character traits that still distinguish the male. We may place keys anywhere about the house and they are still in the ‘correct’ place; we (and we alone) know which answers in quiz games have been superseded since publication — and we are incapable of opening a packet of courgettes without sowing them all.
Every year, I do the calculation: there’s myself, my wife and our daughter: two plants, three at a push, plus one for the slugs, makes four. And then I sow all the seeds in the packet and spend the summer complaining to anyone (left) who will listen about us swimming in courgettes.
This is trebly troubling, because I like to grow three varieties. I have come up with a solution. Or, rather, my wife has: she opens and confiscates the packets once I have extracted a few seeds of each. I’m not proud it has come to this.
Every year, I grow three kinds: a familiar cigar variety; a yellow option; and one that produces round fruit.
The familiar cigar type changes often. This year, it’s the excellent and reliable Sure Thing, with a couple of Tromboncino — a beautiful old Italian variety — as a second sowing.
Soleil is the never-changing yellow fruiter, a courgette that I love both cooked and raw. As for the last category? Not many grow round-fruited courgettes (such as Rondo di Nizza) but I try to convince anyone who’ll listen.