Under Cover Courgettes

In the right conditions, courgettes produce a crop quickly after planting and this makes them a worthwhile early summer crop in a greenhouse or cold frame. As long as you can keep them frost free, you should be able to sow, plant and harvest three to four weeks earlier than your outdoor crop.

Start the plants in gentle heat - a propagator at 15-18C (60-65F) or a warm windowsill. In my north midland's garden, I sow one or two plants during the second week of April and plant them out in a polytunnel in early May. On really cold nights I give the plants extra protection with a cloche or fleece.

One problem with early crops can be poor pollination. Normally insects, particularly bees, are responsible for moving pollen from male to female flowers so that they 'set' and form fruit. Early in the year there might not be many insects about, or they might not get into a frame or tunnel.

If female flowers (the ones with a small immature fruit behind them) are forming but not setting, you can carry out the bees' work yourself by picking off a freshly opened male flower, stripping off the petals and dabbing it into the centre of a freshly opened female

SUPPLIERS

  • All Green Bush' O, K, F, DTB 'Black Forest' F1 O, F 'Cavili' F1 T&M 'Clarion' K, F, Si
  • Custard White' I, O, K, Si, ET, SH
  • Defender' F1 O, K, F, S, ET, Med, DTB
  • Dundoo' F1 T&M
  • Eight Ball' F1 ET, F, D
  • El Greco' F1 S, D
  • Elite' F1 K
  • Floridor' F1 K, SH
  • Genovese' I, O, Tu
  • Goldrush' F1 I, Si
  • Jemmer' F1 T&M, K, SH
  • Kojac' F1 T&M,
  • Lunga Bianca' I
  • Nero di Milan' O, I, K, ET, SH
  • Parthenon' F1 O, T&M, Tu
  • Romanesco' I, Si
  • Rondo di Nizza' O, T&M, I, K, Si, SH
  • Sebring' F1 DTB
  • Sunburst' F1 K, F, ET, Si, SH
  • Tondo di Piacenza' I, Si

Tristar' F1 U

'Tromba d'Albenga (or Tromboncino)'

I, O, Si, SH 'Tricolor' F1 T&M 'Venus' F1 T&M, M

'Tondo Chiaro di Nizza' K, C, ThE, SBS See page 90 for full details of the seed companies listed.

lower. However, an easier alternative is to try one of the new 'parthenocarpic' varieties which can set fruit without being pollinated -'Parthenon' (typical dark green fruit) or 'Cavili' (pale green), for example.

'Gardening gourmets wilt treasure this boak.1 {Cottage Gardener)

What Will I Do With All Those Courgettes?

Elaine Borish

The answer is in a delightful new book. More than 150 recipes using this amazingly versatile vegetable -surprise your family and friends.

  • The recipes are clear, easy-to-make and taste delicious,'
  • Country Kitrhen AtflgozJn?)
  • more trtan 150 recipes... Soups, salads, appetisers, main courses, accompaniments, cakes and breads- they are ail here...easy and fun to prepare. Who knows, you might wish you'd grown even more courgettes.'

ttdtcten Garden AissmneJ

Available via good bookstores, Amazon.com and direct from the distributors, Gazelle Books (please quote ref: KG I

W/jaf will I do to win a free copy of the book?

Special Offer for six lucky readers of Kitchen Garden, just contact Gazelle Book Service by April 30.

Gazelle Book Service (Dept KG), White Cross Mills, High Tom, Lancaster LAI 4XS, UK Tel 1(11524 68765 /fax: 0152463232

HARD AS NAILS

My Uncle Jim is having a clear-out and said I could have the old beach hut that sulks beneath the hedge in the corner of his garden. Never one to look a gift shed in the mouth and in need of storage space on my new allotment I jumped at the chance -especially as Jim recollected that just a few bolts in each corner held the thing together.

I arrived bright and early, spanners-in-hand with my brother Barry, foolishly thinking that we'd have the hut apart and lashed to the roof of his van in minutes. Eight hours later, thanks to the hundreds of nails that locked the thing together, I'm standing in the dark surrounded by the splintered remains of the rotten sides while the nail pierced roof sits on its back like a dead porcupine. Thinking back, we should have stopped looking for the bolts when the roof caved in - but then I could hardly say I didn't want it after that. So, now I'm the proud owner of a rotten pile of timber that bears more resemblance to the shipwrecked Mary Rose than a shed. Beat that if you can Simon Stirling!

H Thinking back, we should have stopped looking for the bolts when the roof caved in - but then I could hardly say I didn't want it after that D

Building Your Own Greenhouse

Building Your Own Greenhouse

You Might Just End Up Spending More Time In Planning Your Greenhouse Than Your Home Don’t Blame Us If Your Wife Gets Mad. Don't Be A Conventional Greenhouse Dreamer! Come Out Of The Mould, Build Your Own And Let Your Greenhouse Give A Better Yield Than Any Other In Town! Discover How You Can Start Your Own Greenhouse With Healthier Plants… Anytime Of The Year!

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment