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Grow the best Baby Marrows

Baby marrows are a quick summer crop that are fun to grow and easy to eat.August and September are the best months to grow your veggies from seed. An easy to grow vegetable that reminds me of my childhood and picking the fruit with my grandfather are the Baby Marrows. He grew them on mass and to all sizes, as a family we loved stuffed baby marrows on Sundays making it a whole family event!

The Baby Marrow, also known as courgette is the most rewarding plant for the home veggie gardener to grow. The seed germinates easily, the first fruit is ready for picking within 65 days from sowing and the yellow flowers are also edible. The nice thing about baby marrows is their versatility. They are lovely and crunchy when eaten raw and can be cooked in any and every possible way with other ingredients or as a vegetable on its own. It is one of those staple summer vegetables that one need never be without.

Basic requirements

Full sun and well composted soil that drains well. An area where there is good air movement helps, especially to dry off the leaves quickly after watering or rainfall. Provide space for growing so that there is good air flow around the leaves.

Sowing guideline

The sowing window for baby marrow is August to November.  Plant seed 7 cm deep with two seeds per hole. Keep the soil moist but don’t water heavily until the seed has sprouted. Baby marrows are bushy plants that only require a little support.

Growing on

Baby marrow plants consist of a single thick stem with leaves, flowers and fruit borne off the stem. The first flowers are usually male and will not produce fruit. A female flower has a small swelling at its base, while a male flower does not. Male flowers can be picked for eating and they are the nicest of all the squash flowers. Because of their shallow root system, the plants need plenty of water. They will not flower if there is not enough water. The method of watering is very important. Water the plants deeply around the base and not from above so that the leaves remain dry. Feed twice during the growing season with 2:3:4 fertiliser.

Harvesting

Baby marrows form quickly once the female flower has dropped. If left on the stem the baby marrows can grow into a large marrow about 50cm long which is how they are eaten in Europe and the Mediterranean. However, the larger the fruit load the less new fruit is produced. For an ongoing harvest it is best to pick when the fruit is about the length and thickness of a finger. Remove the fruit by cutting it off the stem with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors.