We sowed some courgettes earlier on in the year which are currently growing away in the polytunnel in the hope of getting an earlier crop. We even have our first flower! Although as predicted, the first flower to open is a female flower (the flowers that bear the courgettes), but there is no male flower to pollinate it with. As courgette flowers only open for one day, without a male flower, this one won’t get pollinated and so won’t produce a courgette. Therefore, we will cut this one off, to prevent the plant wasting any more energy on trying to grow it, when it hasn’t been pollinated. This will give the plant a chance to grow bigger and stronger, and ultimately provide us with more courgettes later down the line!
There are some more flowers on their way, so hopefully before long we will have both a male and female flower at the same time and we will know that courgettes are on their way!
In the meantime, we’ve made another sowing of courgettes! This time, it’s Midnight, a variety bred especially to be grown in containers, and Sunstripe. We’ve grown Midnight several times before, but Sunstripe is a new one for us. This variety promises yellow courgettes with a white stripe, similar to many varieties of marrows. We’re rather excited to see how these turn out!
We filled a quarter seed tray with Seed and Modular compost, dampened this and then gently pressed down the surface of the compost to make an even seed bed.
After this, we placed the seeds into the seed tray, pushing them slightly into the compost so the top of the seed was just below the level of the compost.
As you can see, courgette seeds are quite large, so these can be placed into the seed tray exactly where you want them! We sow the seeds on their sides as in the second photo. This is because we find that when the seeds send out their root (to go down into the compost) and shoot (to come up into the fresh air), these come out of either end. Therefore, we find that sowing the seeds on their sides gives them an easier route up/down!
After placing the seeds in the seed tray, we covered each seed with a sprinkling of vermiculite and then labelled them up!
Although these ones have gone on the propagator to germinate as we had space in there, at this time of year they should germinate just as easily on a warm windowsill or in an airing cupboard.