Collection: Courgettes, Gourds, Pumpkin and Squash

We grow four species of squash, pumpkins or courgettes. All were domesticated in the Americas. Cucurbita pepo includes courgettes Cocozelle and Costata Romanesco, hulless seeded pumpkin Lady Godiva and winter storage squash Candystick Delicata. It also includes many big orange pumpkins. Wiinter squash or pumpkins Ushiki Kuri Blue Kuri and Oregon Homestead Sweetmeat are Cucurbita maxima, these have hard dense, and often sweet flesh. They are good keepers. Also good keepers are Cucurbita moschata squash, which are all beige, like the Butternuts. The final species is Cucurbita ficifolia, the fig leafed gourd, or Chilacayote as it is known as in its native South America. GrowingSow squash seeds in small pots or modules in a warm place, such as a greenhouse or windowsill between March and June. Keep the plants in doors until the nights are warm and transplant to larger pots as necessiary. Plant out in May or June and protect from slugs.

A Cloche will help produce an early crop. Squash produce separate male and female flowers that are pollinated by insects. If the female flowers, the ones with the little fruit at the base, are not pollinated they will rot and fall off. This sometimes happens early in the season and hand pollination helps. Just take a male flower and rub it in the female one. Courgettes should be picked when small. Cutting them will encourage the plant to produce more. Winter squash and pumpkins beed a long growing season and should be harvested when the plants die off but before the first frost. They need to he 'cured' by drying out in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill before storing. 

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