~ Seed for COURGETTES & SUMMER SQUASH ~
Some really good traditional varieties do still exist, and these are the best we have found.
(NB: "Summer squash" are picked young and used just like courgettes but are different shapes & colours.)
We would normally grow about 5 plants for our own use, which
is why we give you at least 10 seeds.
(always sow more than you need to allow for losses to pests and toddlers)
Screen is too small to display the sowing calendar. Try turning your device sideways.
= normal sowing & harvest time = also possible depending on conditions
TIP: Mice love courgette seed, and slugs love the baby plants. The seed will also germinate best with a bit of heat,
so we recommend sowing indoors in small pots, then planting out when they have 3 true leaves. Don't rush to sow - often
plants that go out slightly later will catch up and do much better than earlier plantings battered by spring storms.
White Cousa Courgette
Cousa-type courgettes are originally from the Middle East with short, chubby, slightly bulbous white fruit. (Well, really a very, very pale green rather than ‘white’.)
We prefer courgettes like this one, as they fruit earlier and more heavily than normal courgettes, and the fruit stay tender to a greater size. Seed grown for us by the Seed Cooperative in Lincolnshire.
Early, high production , particularly good flavour and texture
12 seed, £
'Verde di Italia' Pale Green Ribbed Courgette
A good early courgette which makes lots of pale green fruit.
They have very gentle ridges along their length; we like them because their flesh is very tender and particularly finely-flavoured.
14 seed £
A unique dual-purpose squash on long rampant vines. Baby green fruits can be harvested and used like a summer squash when 8-12" long, they are sweet like courgettes and great steamed, grilled or sliced raw.
If not used for summer squash, the fruits will grow up to 3 foot long with meaty necks that can be used much like a marrow.
60 days for summer squash, 90 days for winter squash. Let us know if you like it!
12 seed £Mike Allen grew one over 1m long! He wrote: "..successfully harvesting and saving seeds, including from this monster ... Yea, they were rampant - climbed an adjacent apple tree and produced squash 4m up, harvested via ladder"!
'Verde di Milano' Dark Green Dwarf Bush Courgette
This is a small bush (not a vine), making medium-sized very dark green (almost black) courgettes.
Because it is smaller plant it is a good choice for those of you with a tiny plot ( and also for all those with a huge plot who are just always hopelessly over-optimistic about how many different things can be squeezed in!)
We like to eat our courgettes picked small and fried with garlic - delicious.
14 seed, organic £
'Striato d'Napoli' Courgette
A good early courgette from Italy. Big bushy plants giving lots of long, pretty fruit with alternating light and dark green stripes.
Perfectly smooth and round in cross-section, and the flesh doesn't go as 'soft' when cooked as other courgettes do. We like it a lot: very productive, but it doesn't sprawl too much, so it's a good choice if you have a small plot.
Early & stripey. Large bush but not too sprawling!
12 seed , organic £
'Caserta' Courgette NEW
A plump heirloom introduced by F.H. Woodruff and Sons about 80 years ago. Very pretty with its pale gray-green backgound & darker green stripes, it has an excellent buttery flavour.
You won't find it in the shops because it has such a soft & delicate skin - so it's no good for long-distance packaging & transport, but that's what makes it so nice to eat. One of the earlier varieties to fruit as well!
Early & stripey courgette from the 1940's, AAS winner 1949.
12 seed , £
This is an amazing knobbly yellow squash, with bulbous fruit and a curved neck (hence the name). Although botanically a 'squash' it is always picked early, sliced whole, & used just like a courgette - with a great nutty flavour.
We think that it is tastier than courgettes though - firmer fleshed and better flavoured! It is a bit slower to get going though, as it does like some warmth, so we always grow both for good crops right through the season.
Always a favourite of ours
12 seed £
'Tondo di Piacenza' Courgette
An early courgette which is spherical. Very productive, with pretty fruits which look good on the plant and on the plate. Definitely worth a try if you fancy something a little bit different.
Kate would like to point out that we have actually found one small flaw with these. Because they're round, if you try to carry a huge armful all at once, it's very easy to lose control and end up with them rolling away in all directions! The plants are also a bit viney - so better for the larger plot - but then they do make an awful lot of courgettes.
Dark green, round courgette
14 seed £
'Burpees Golden Zucchini' - Yellow Courgette NEW SEED JUST IN
This incredible yellow courgette was selected by Oved Schifriss in the 1940s and was introduced to home gardeners by the "W. Atlee Burpee & Co" seed house.
The bushes are quite compact, producing large numbers of bright yellow courgettes.
Good flavour. Best picked 8-10 inches long.
12 seed, organic £
Summer squash are grown and cooked just like courgettes. They have a slightly nuttier flavour, and a whole range of different shapes & colours.
To avoid any confusion, just as with courgettes, you should pick all these squash when they are small; the plants rapidly make more. (Otherwise you will end up with - for example - the patty-pan equivalent of a marrow!)
Early Prolific Straightneck
We're very pleased to offer this once again, a straighneck squash from 1938 with lemon-yellow fruit with gently bumpy skin. The flavour is better than a normal courgette and this particular strain from High Mowing Seeds has been improved to be resistant to powdery mildew.
We love this one because it is the best flavoured of all the summer squash we've ever tried - we always add a few plants on the end of the seed production run so we have plenty to eat ourselves.
Pick SMALL & use like a courgette.
12 seed, organic £
Patty-pan squash are flattened, saucer-shaped courgettes. This old French heirloom produces white fruit, which are cut when young (about 3 inches across) and cooked or fried just like a courgette.
The flavour is a little richer and more substantial than courgettes, with a slight 'nutty' taste. Very popular each year, they can be quite prolific indeed in a good summer.
Saucer-shaped white courgette! Pick when small.
14 seed £
'Bennings Green Tint'
This is one of the most beautiful varieties of Patty Pan squash there is, and it dates from around 1900 or a little earlier.
The bushes are quite vigorous and make uniform saucer-shaped fruits with scalloped edges and pale-green, fine-textured flesh of good flavor. Harvest them when about 2- 3 inches across, and the plant will make lots more.
Heirloom pale green variety.Pick when small!
12 seed £
Saving Courgette & Summer Squash Seed:
It is very easy to save your own courgette seed, but you really do have to do it properly.
For seed production, you really must pollinate the flowers by hand,
otherwise they will cross with all the other squash and pumpkins,
giving tasteless watery mongrels that are no good to eat.
The rubber bands hold the flowers shut so the bees can't get in and cross-pollinate them before you get there.
Don't be daunted! It only takes a few minutes to do this properly, and you'll get great seed.
There are more detailed home-seed saving guides (printable) over to the left of this page,
in the box titled 'SeedSaving', with sheets on drying and storing your seed too.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.