From the middle of August the path was completely lost in a sea of huge leaves and trailing stems of triffid vigour that manage to be brittle, succulent, bristly and hollow all at the same time. Frost hits these like a blowtorch, leaving the exposed fruit sitting on the ground like an abandoned clutch of monstrous eggs - Monty Don
Every year I have a go at growing winter and summer squash, courgettes and cucumbers. Some years I have more success than others. Last year was disastrous except for courgettes and summer squash. The weather was against me, and I fear it will be the same this year, the way things are going. But - never say die - I keep on trying, and maybe, just maybe I will get a good harvest.
In the greenhouse I now have several types that are growing reasonably well and I am beginning to transplant them into larger pots. I am sure it is still too cold to plant them out yet, so I will just keep nurturing them indoors till I feel it has warmed up enough.
One of the drawbacks with all the plants from this family is that they require so much room to grow once they are in the ground and they don't do very well in containers. I have tried a few times and the results weren't very good at all, even when the seed packet said they were especially for containers. Some are referred to as 'bush' types, but even these seem to sprawl, and are not as compact as they are supposed to be.
As you can see in the picture above I planted two seeds in this pot and one is definitely a much stronger plant. So when I pot them on I will keep the weaker of the two as a spare just in case anything goes wrong. The thing is that even the weak ones seem to do well eventually, then you have a surplus of courgettes, that you haven't a clue what to do with.
I have already had a disaster with the cucumbers. Out of the four seeds that germinated I have lost all but these. So I decided to buy a grafted plant to see if I could do any better with that. It was quite expensive to buy and is one of the long cucumber types rather than the half-size that I prefer, but it will be worth the cost if I can get it to grow and produce cucumbers for the summer.
Do you have more luck than me growing squash and other plants of the Curcurbit family?
|Summer Squash - Sunburst|
|Courgette - Midnight|
|Cucumber - Crystal Lemon|