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?