Sunday, 27 October 2013

Glut,Wot Glut?


The last courgette of the year has been consumed this week and the battered, mildewy plant dispatched to the glories of the compost heap. It was an unsatisfactory year for courgettes for me as although the harvest lasted over a long spell, output was far from prolific - the word 'glut' never entered the equation. I've attributed this to the fact that they were not sown and subsequently planted out until quite late and were then abandoned in that hot spell in July. They had set fruits before we went on holiday but I removed all the immature fruits before we went on holiday. My lovely plot neighbour kept things ticking over providing welcome liquid refreshment at intervals but I think that that the courgettes stuttered somewhat to establish themselves. Back home the above photo was taken on the 21st July but there were also sadly a number of courgettes looking like this ~ 


A bit of a horror show!

For the record I planted 3 different varieties and a total of 4 plants :

'Romanesco' (sown 15/04/13 - a variety which I've grown for a number of years, it produces long green small to medium sized ridged courgettes and has a pleasing shape when sliced. It's often described as having a 'nutty' taste but I can't say that I've noticed this when eating it. This performed satisfactorily but has done better in previous years.

I was prompted to grow the other two varieties after reading an article on courgettes in the RHS magazine 'The Garden'. In an in depth article 32 different varieties were grown and in conclusion observations were made on the basis of yield and appearance. I experimented with :

'Brice'  (sown either 18 or 19/04/13) - I liked the look of this round green courgette and the taste but I picked far few courgettes from this than the other varieties. I still have some of the rather expensive seeds left, so will have another go next year but may try another round green courgette for comparison.

'Floridor' (sown - 15/04/13)  - this produced the most attractive sunshine yellow round courgettes. It seemed to set plenty of fruit but unfortunately some did not mature. Definitely a contender for next year's sowing plans. Again there is left over seed.

You can see full details of all 32 courgette varieties here in a useful chart format.

What I have decided to do next year is to stagger seed sowing. How did you fare with courgette growing in 2013, what did you grow and what would you recommend? 

18 comments:

  1. I grew Mikinos and One Ball this year. It was the first year I've tried a round courgette but I didn't manage to get many from it so I don't think I'll bother again. I always grow a long green variety, though I'm never fussy which, I just go for a variety which is in the 50p seed sale and they always seem to do well. I haven't had a glut this year either, but I've certainly had enough, they've tended to produce steadily and I've managed to use up the lot.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Jo. ' One Ball' was a close contender behind 'Brice'. Now I know that wanting a glut would have been greedy but there were times when I did not have enough. I wonder whether the round fruiting varieties produce less - an interesting thought.

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  2. Our courgette crop was practically non existent this year, but we had a good crop of squash and cucumbers. I don't know what variety the courgette was but we tend to stick to a long green variety, last year we had more than we could cope with.

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    1. Oh glad to read that it wasn't just me Debbie :) My courgettes fared better too last year despite the dreadful summer.

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  3. I do think that courgettes can be very temperamental - they seem to sulk and not produce if they get too hot, too wet, etc etc! I've had enough here for just me but not enough to give away.
    Thanks for the apple link you put on my blog, I think I've managed to id the cooking apple as Golden Noble :-)

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    1. Yes courgettes are definitely prima donnas Su. Not enough here to give away either :( Glad to hear that the apple link was useful.

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  4. I didn't even get round to sowing my seed, so you are much better than I am! I am full of good intentions for next year, so hopefully I will be able to report on my courgettes then!

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    1. Oh thank you Pauline - you have cheered me up no end :) xxx

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  5. My courgette harvest was appalling this summer and I vowed never to try again! A cold start and then intense heat just stressed my plants beyond recovery. I can only remember the name of one sort: Midnight. I've been growing it successfully for years, but even that one failed to produce much. I'm comforted I'm not alone. But very frustrating for you too. Hope you have better luck next year. I shall give my remaining seed away I think!

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    1. Oh sorry to read that Cathy but you never know next year might provide the optimum conditions for growing courgettes in your neck of the woods. Don't give up on them :)

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  6. Hmm, a mixed year I guess! I sstill have loads on the plants, I am thinking chutney. Thanks for the link to the comparison charts, but I really shouldn't even look I'll just get tempted, and I have plenty of seed left from this year!! I think mine were Jemmer, something like that, small, conventionally shaped yellow ones, but really tasty, including raw when young. Will definitely grow them again next year, but only one plant - two was too many!

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    1. You're thinking chutney - just where did I go wrong Janet? I did grow 'Jenner' once in the dim and distant past. Maybe I should give them another go. My total of four plants were not enough for me this year!

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  7. I grew a yellow and a green variety, sadly don't know the name as I bought them without label on a market. They did very well, but have developed mildew now. Not too bad, I can still harvest but it'll be the end soon. I had some fruits like the malformed ones in your last pic. This may be due to lack in nutrients, irregular watering and then the weather was a bit funny. Never mind, we shall keep trying. Did you ever spray the plants with dilluted milk?

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    1. Glad to read that your plants did well. I think that it may have been irregular watering that affected mine in such a way. I did not spray with diluted milk Annette but the mildew was not a real problem only appearing when the plants were more or less towards the end of producing fruits.

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  8. I hate to say it but it has probably been my best courgette year so far. Sorry! ;) I had 3 plants which was crazy for just the two of us. We couldn't eat them fast enough and to be honest were a bit sick of them at one point. I had 2 'Defender' and 'Romanesco'. Defender, as always, performed brilliantly and I picked the last one on Monday before the plants went on to the compost heap. The romanesco wasn't as prolific and gave up the ghost much earlier, which was in many respects a blessing. They probably did benefit from us not having a summer holiday, as they were watered more than usual. I haven't been impressed with the yellow varieties before and like you have never got the nutty flavour of romanseco but I do like the look of it and it's ribbed exterior. Each year brings something different. Tomatoes were my nemesis this year thanks to a dodgy batch of compost. Incredibly disappointing since it has probably been the best tomato year in recent times.

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    1. 'Aaaaaaaaah' she screams! No I'm really pleased for you WW. Have grown 'Defender' in the past too. Interesting to read that your 'Romanesco' packed in first. Maybe not having a summer holiday was the secret but I am unable to persuade himself to stay at home.

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  9. Those Brice and Floridor look lovely - shame they didn't completely justify their loveliness! I had forgooten to buy courgette seeds till late so grabbed whatever they had from Wilkinsons, which was 'Tuscany' and they have been superb. I haven't had such a good or prolonged crop for a long while - huge plants too, which coped with my usual neglect.

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    1. I'm blaming myself Cathy rather than the courgettes :) Will certainly persist with 'Floridor'. Pleased to hear that you had a bumper crop. Will have to find out more about 'Tuscany'.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.