Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Curcurbit Family Reunion!

Blog readers may remember last Friday I posted about hand pollinating my pumpkins in order to save true seed for next year. Just look at the difference one week has made! This is the same Queensland Blue squash, you can see how much bigger it is and the flower and string have just fallen off. This indicates that pollination was successful and the fruit is growing. You can see below the same has happened to this Rouge Vif D'Etamps pumpkin which I hand pollinated in the same way. They have doubled in size in a week.
In the greenhouse I have a good crop of this all female F1 Cucumber Tiffany. If you see All Female on a packet of seeds this means that you do not have male and female flowers. All the flowers on this plant will bear fruit.
You can see below my climbing courgette Black Forest. This is a wonderful plant for growing if you don't have much space. I am amazed at the productivity of this plant. A courgette is growing from every leaf joint! I just tie it up regularly and at the end of the season it will reach over 8 feet tall.
One of my favourite courgettes is Defender. I grow this bush courgette every year as it has a remarkable tolerance to the mosaic virus - a disease which turns the leaves a mottled yellow colour. This plant grows in a black plastic dustbin.
Another good do-er on the patch is the Yellow Straightneck squash. These are seeds I bought in the USA and the veggies can be used just like courgettes, or you can make Yellow Squash Pie. A recipe favoured in the Southern United States which is similar to pumpkin pie.
This time of year all these curcurbits are growing fast. Don't forget to feed and water yours!


At 8:32 PM, Blogger Shaheen said...

I am learning so much from you about growing veg. Thank you.

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics, and there is no question that this is success! I like learning about all the varieties of veg you plant.... so much more out there than just the run-of-the-mill kinds that most people are familiar with. Interesting about the flower and string falling off as being a good sign, is that just for squash, or does it also apply to veg like eggplant (aubergine) and peppers?

At 11:54 PM, Blogger The Mom said...

I also love seeing all the varieties that people plant. The climbing courgette is nice, mine are bush and take up huge amounts of space. Every year I like to try different varieties, maybe next year I'll try that one.

At 4:38 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Just gorgeous! The cucumber in particular. So the all females self pollinate?

At 4:52 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

Good job Matron on the hand pollination. I have been doing the same not to get seed purity but to ensure some decent production because the bees took a walk for about two weeks and left me high and dry when the various squashes needed their attention most. Luckily, I have noticed them making a return and I have quit doing so much hand pollinating as a result.

At 4:52 AM, Blogger Toni said...

That's amazing how fast they grew!!!

Are you able to grow veggies all year long in your greenhouse?

At 5:04 AM, Blogger Sunny said...

Very nice pics....I enjoy everything about gardening..I am experimenting with a large variety of of veggies this season. Your site is a great resource.

Thanks from North Idaho! If you get a chance check out my blog at

Happy gardening!

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Sunny said...

Nice pictures...thanks for the great resource...

If you get a chance visit my blog as well at

Happy gardening from North Idaho!

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

You're just showing off! Our courgettes are doing just fine (first time growing them) but pumpkins refuse to pollinate even with help (same as last year) and our squashes? well we're waiting with baited breath. x You make it look so easy.

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Matron said...

livinginalocalzone = The aubergine and pepper flowers will just fade to nothing, like tomato flowers.
Dan - yes, they don't need male flowers.
Toni - it's not a heated greenhouse so only a few Winter lettuce in bags might survive. I do have a heated propagator on a bench and was able to keep my pineapple alive over Winter.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

You're not presenting that cuuuuuu , you're stroking it like a large phallus

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Kath said...

My first cuke is so much smaller than your - still, it's coming along fast. Cucurbits do grow apace don't they. Harvested 2 large courgettes yesterday so today I made a chocolate courgette cake. One of your 5 portions!


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