• Alison Murray

Things to do in the garden during lockdown day 28: sow courgettes and squashes

Mid to late April is a good time to sow courgettes and squashes under cover, they'll be ready to plant out in a couple of weeks when the risk of frost is over.

Members of the cucurbitaceae family - squashes, courgettes pumpkins and cucumbers are not frost tolerant at all. They have a pretty rapid growth rate, if you are in the bottom half of the country and sow now they will have two sets of true leaves by early May when it will be warm enough to plant them out. Sow the seeds on their long thin sides, this reduces the chance of them rotting should you be a bit heavy handed with the watering. The ones in the picture still need to be covered in compost.

Squash and courgette seeds sown on their sides
Squash and courgette seeds sown on their sides

This year I have sown: squash: 'Golden Nugget', 'Spaghetti' and 'Crown Prince', and 'Soleil' and 'Black Prince' courgettes, along with some mystery seeds from a friend.

Squash have a habit of rambling around the veg patch taking up a huge amount to space. The solution is to invest in a couple of arches and grow them vertically. This is going to be a first for me, so watch this space!

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