It’s tempting to stick to old favourites, because they’re tried and tested and we know we can grow them well. But sometimes it’s good to give ourselves new projects to try and taste sensations to enjoy!
Often it’s because we don’t want to upset the apple cart and attempt to grow duds that just don’t work for us. But what if you could guarantee good germination, good growth, quick harvesting and prolific fruiting? Well, here’s our selection of colourful cucurbit characters, all from the same family of easy-grow veg, but with extra taste and unusual form. Wow your visitors with some crazy crops!
They’ll all be ready to harvest from midsummer, only around 10 weeks or so from sowing, and are representative of their cucumber family by being undemanding and not backward in coming forward in the amount of fruit they give off. Enjoy!
Ones to try sowing now
Cornichon ‘Vert Petit de Paris’
This is the ultimate pickling cucumber. Sow now, keep at 18-21C (64-70F), grow on and feed through summer. Harvest from midsummer, storing in vinegar.
Sometimes called courgette 'Sunstripe'. Grow on for larger marrows. Produces beautiful yellow and white striped fruit. Sow now and plant out in late May. Harvest from midsummer.
These small, citrus-fresh fruit have the crunch and wateriness of cucumbers. An easy, vigorous climber to sow now, grow on and plant out in late May. Feed, then harvest from July.
Squash ‘Sunburst Patty Pan’
These tiny, yellow squash are prolific and have a delicious nutty flavour. Sow now indoors, or directly in late May. Harvest from July.