Courgette (Tuscany F1)
Courgettes are one of the most rewarding vegetables to grow at home, reliably producing a steady stream of great tasting fruits throughout the summer. Just one or two plants will provide enough for the average household’s needs and save a lot of money having to buy them in the shops. This variety is particularly productive, producing masses of attractive, dark and glossy courgettes.
Sow indoors March to May. Sow edge downwards, 1.5cm deep into small, individual pots of compost. Water well and place in warm, light position, away from cold draughts and out of intense, direct sunlight. Keep the compost just moist and be careful not to overwater, the compost should almost dry out before it is watered again. Seedlings should start to appear in approximately 7-14 days. Carefully transplant the seedlings to individual pots when they are large enough to handle. In late May, acclimatise plants to outside conditions. Place plants outside in a sheltered spot during the day and bring them inside again at night when temperature fall. Do this for a week or two, until the plants have hardened off. Plant out to a sunny growing position spaced 60cm apart. Keep the soil moist at all times and remove any weeds as they appear.
Top Tips About Seeds
Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings. Courgette seeds will maintain their vigour for a good number of years.
Courgette Tuscany F1 is relatively compact and bushy for a courgette plant so could be grown in large patio tub or trough. It can also be grown in raised beds. Be sure to keep the compost most and feed plants regularly.
Aphids can affect weak young plants and in the worst cases spread disease to the plant. With care Aphids can be washed off and removed from the plant. To make it difficult for aphids keep the plants well watered and strong. This particular variety also has good resistance to disease. Late in the season mildew often begins to reduce the vigour of plants, again regular watering will help the plants resist mildew and crop for as long as possible.
It is important to harvest courgettes regularly in order to keep a plentiful supply coming on. If a courgette is missed it can still be harvested and used as a marrow but the large fruit will take energy away from the production of other courgettes.
Ideas on how to use your courgette
When plants begin to flower and start to produce fruit, a regular watering with a liquid feed will help to maximise the crop. It is import to water plants regularly as irregular ‘boom and bust’ watering will result in poor quality fruit, often with tough skins. It may also weaken the plants enough to succumb to mildew. One way to extend the harvest period is to make a last late sowing in late June, directly where plants are to grow.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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