Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: squash

Easter Bank Holiday Monday – Sowing Seeds of Courgette and Squash

COVID-19 News Update

Deaths in UK hospitals rose to 11,329 – up by 717in 24 hours

Our Prime Minister has been thanking the NHS for saving lives for weeks. Today he has thanked them for saving his life as he has left the hospital following his own personal fight against COVID-19

Courgette Zephyr F1 Hybrid

As promised yesterday I have made a start on sowing the squash this morning .I have sown the last three seeds of the Courgette Zephyr, an F1 Hybrid variety purchased from thompson-morgan.com. I have grown these successfully before. I have placed three seeds in a 7″ pot of moist general purpose compost. These seeds are best sown vertically I have found. I have enclosed the pot in a polythene bag and put it on the window sill. They should germinate in about 7 days and hopefully be flowering in June for an Autumn harvest.

This distinctive variety produces attractive, creamy-yellow cylindrical fruits with an unusual pale green tip. The strong, bushy plants of Courgette Zephyr produce fruits with a firm texture and a delicious nutty flavour if harvested regularly when no more than 6″ long.

Butternut Squash Hunter F1

Next seeds to be sown are six Butternut Squash Hunter, an F1 hybrid bought from Premier Seeds Direct. These fruits are a family favourite and I have treated them the same way as the courgette seeds.

Bred specifically for the UK and Northern European climate this variety delivers outstanding crops over a variety of UK summer conditions. Ready for harvesting up to four weeks earlier than other hybrids with fruits averaging 1kg with very high yields per plant.

Saturday 16th May 2020 – Update on the Courgettes and Squash – Laura bravely went and begged an old tyre from next doors skip and we have made a little garden for the squash and courgettes. There is a group of seven plants and I have high hopes for them. The seeds grew into very healthy plants and they lived on the window ledge until today.

Fingers crossed that we have seen the last of the frost but I have built up a protective surround of plastic covered netting with polythene bubble wrap. My only worry is overcrowding. I am hoping that the plants head for the skies and cling onto the netting.

Butternut Squash – Cucurbita Moschata

To date I have fifteen Butternut Squash seedlings potted up. These seeds were saved from a shop bought squash, left to dry out and then chitted between damp kitchen towel kept moist in a plastic food box. They germinated really quickly and by the time I potted them up they were already showing secondary root hairs and searching for nutrients. I may pot a couple of these up at home but the majority are destined to go to the allotment. Sown another fifteen germinated seeds today 15th Feb. I can’t see them all reaching maturity but there are still many chitted seeds left. I wish I knew  someone who needed some.

Butternut squash also known as gramma is a winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin.  It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. It is a good source of fibre, magnesium and potassium. It is also a source of vitamins C, A & E.

Rain – Courgette and Squash

After weeks of dry weather the rain came with a vengance last night accompanied by thunder and lightening. It is still raining steadily today but a nice fine rain that is ok to work in.

I have put the flower seedlings into their final bed now and they look happy and will bed in nicely if this fine rain continues. They are Nasturtium, Lupin and Campion. I have also filled an oblong planter with Nasturtium and placed it alongside the rose bed. They will attract Hover Flies which in turn should keep my roses free from green fly.

I have potted on the biggest of the tomatoes now. Four are in place at the allotment in the lean to and the other six are at home in the garden. Today I have sown nine Butternut Squash seeds saved from last year. They look a bit feeble though so if they don’t show through I shall have to buy some fresh seeds. The two courgette plants seem to be doing well and I have put them outside to harden off a bit. The four Cucumber plants are still on the window ledge and look very frail. They are the long white bought last year from T&M. I don’t hold out much hope for them.

Butternut Squash Soup

We have loads of jobs to do in the garden but rain has stopped play today. We have had torrential rain since the early hours of the morning so couldn’t carry on outside. We have come indoors and I am making Butternut Squash Soup.

  • One medium sized Butternut Squash
  • One small onion
  • One potato
  • One/Two chicken stock cube
  • Seasoning to taste

Cut the butternut squash length ways and scoop out the seeds and the stringy flesh. Peel and cube. Cook with a little water until soft and put on one side. Cook the potato and onion until soft. Combine them all and mash to a smooth pulp. Add the stock cube disolved into a pint of water to the butternut, potato and onion. Season to taste and cook on on low heat stirring all the time or even put into a slow cooker on medium heat until you are ready to serve. Serve with crusty bread for a warming treat. I have seen recipes that add carrots, apple, orange or even curry but we like it simple.

Butternut Squash and Red Melon

butternut squashBecause of work and other commitments we haven’t been able to go down to the plot for a couple of days and we are both having withdrawal symptoms. A few days ago I sowed seeds of Butternut Squash and already a strong looking shoot has emerged. All I have to do now is nurture it until it is a good strong plant. I have never grown, bought or eaten this vegetable before so I have a lot to learn. Butternut Squash has an elongated pear like shape. The skin is gold in colour with deeper orange flesh. They mature in late autumn.

Another little miracle is the emergence of two seedling from a couple of black seeds I fished out of a piece of red melon in a bought mixed fruit salad. It will be interesting to see what comes of them, if anything. I already have a small seedling from a yellow melon seed saved from a fruit I bought and I have sowed a couple more. I love melon but think they may be difficult to grow and need more expertise than I have.