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I started to grow my own vegetables about five years ago. I thought that it would be quite fun to do so, that it might save money and that it would help me connect with the environment. After several years of planting I can wholeheartedly say my favourite thing to grow in my garden at home is the courgette. This is because I find them so easy to grow, they are always abundant with fruits and they also look very attractive while growing.
You can buy courgette seeds from garden centres but on the highstreet your best bet is to go to Wilkinson. The Dooyoo picture here shows Mr Fothergill's Courgette Seeds which you can buy there. You are able to get courgette seeds in different varieties of fruit. I am basing my review on the Zucchini F1 variety.
The seeds come in a thin paper packet and inside are an unspecified number of seeds. Courgette seeds are quite large, flat and a bit like melon seeds to look at. They need to be planted in individual pots. I use small to medium sized pots, often using old plastic popcorn tubs and yogurt pots. I plant slightly earlier than suggested in March. A growing guide on the seed packet advises to sow in April. However, I like to start mine off early. There is a risk in this if the weather in late April and May is not very good, however, but I have not had too many problems concerning this.
I would advise growing a few more plants than you think you need to compensate for any problems when growing. I have had a seedling die and I have had one seedling grow into a dwarf plant which was not viable. The seedlings shoot up very quickly and grow into small, sturdy plants which like a lot of water. I keep these on a warm windowsill until it's warm enough for them to go outdoors. During the transition period I would advise putting them out in the day and bringing them in at night for at least one week. Make sure there are no more frosts before finally planting out.
Courgettes need a football sized hole so you can plant them in large tubs or directly into the ground. Mine prefer full sun conditions. They still like to drink a lot and especially do when the fruits grow. The large yellow flowers are stunning but not every flower produces a fruit although the flowers themselves are edible! Harvest the fruits when they are 5-6 inches long to keep the plant producing.
Watch out for issues such as diseased plants. If leaves on plants look white and patchy remove them immediately and dispose of them away from the area.
I would definitely recommend growing courgettes from seed, especially to those who wish to interest children in gardening. They are one of the easiest things to grow and the courgettes are so delicious and versatile.
This year I had the pleasure of taking over a friends allotment as they no longer had time to tend to it. At first it was all very exciting prepping it, buying seeds and plants and watering but nobody warned that the weeds grow knee high in a week and the plants you want to grow take their time growing.
I purchased some courgette seeds from wilkinsons along with some other packs, they cost approximately £1 and were on an offer which I believe was 3 for 2.
The pack contained about 15 seeds and seeing as they aren't tiny they are easy to sow. They are about the size of a sunflower seed a creamy colour and flat. The pack contained good information about when to sow and plant out and when you could harvest your crops.
Sowing time was March til June then planting out time was June and harvesting was from july through to about October time from memory.
Now I love marrows and also like courgettes. A courgette is basically a baby marrow without the seeds in the middle, If I had left my courgettes to grow much bigger they would have become marrows.
When I sowed the seeds it seemed to take ages for the seedlings to start poking through the soil and once planted out again ages for more leaves to appear and finally my precious courgettes. The leaves are in my opinion similar to maple leaves in shape.
For the price I paid for the seeds and the courgettes I ended up with I was in profit if you only take into consideration the cost of seeds and not the back breaking work taken to tend to them lol. I still have some left to pick but the ones that have eaten have tasted as good as shop brought and had a nice shiny outer skin without any chemicals being sprayed on them too.
I have a nice looking recipe for courgette fritter that I'm using on the next batch.
You don't need an allotment to grow these as they will grow just as well in a patch of your garden.
Recommend these seeds and they grow into what they were meant to and tasted as they should once grown.