The Land Rover Owners Wife

Courgette, Black Beauty

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This is a record of how long this particular set of seeds took to germinate and how they looked at various stages from first appearance to the development of the first set of true leaves and beyond. I hope this will prove useful.

Variety: Black Beauty
Sown indoors: 4th March 2013
First Seedling: 23rd March 2013
Germination: 19 days

This seedling has newly emerged and you can see the second one coming through beside it, pushing a lid of compost out of the way.

Courgette Black Beauty   Courgette Black Beauty

Due to the problems I’ve had with my original batch of seed compost, I potted this seedling and its’ companion, into larger pots sooner than I normally would. The seedlings are now 2 inches tall.

Due to the problems I've had with my original batch of seed compost, I potted this into a larger pot quicker than I normally would at just 3 days after emerging.

6 days after emerging.

Having to plant this seedling up sooner than I normally would has slowed it down somewhat but now that it is settled and no doubt put on a fair amount of root growth in its’ new pot, it is finally starting to show some more growth.

At 18 days old, the first true leaf is just beginning to form.

At 18 days old, the first true leaf is just beginning to form.

It really has taken these seedlings a long time to start to put on growth. I have since sown another variety of courgette, in the correct compost, which I hope will grow stronger and faster than these. Now just over a month old:

Courgette Black Beauty  Courgette Black Beauty

Finally, nearly two months after they emerged, these young plants are in their final positions, in one of the raised beds. Before putting a plant into its’ newly dug hole, I have part filled the hole with 3 heaped trowel loads of compost from my own compost bin and then watered on top of the compost. This means that the roots of the plant will have a lovely, nutritious bed to settle into and the water will be used by the plant and not evaporate, as may be the case if water is placed directly onto the soil, in warm weather.

Courgette Black Beauty  Courgette Black Beauty  Courgette Black Beauty

At just over 2.5 months old the first flowers are open and there are a few more which will open over the next few days. These are male flowers which you can tell from the long straight stem (female flowers have an embryonic courgette behind them and a shorter stem). As can be seen from the picture showing the open flower, the male flowers also have a single stamen in the centre, whereas the female flowers have a stigma with several stems. It is not uncommon for squash plants to initially produce a load of flowers of the same sex.

Courgette Black Beauty  Courgette Black Beauty

The first female flower opening 3 weeks after the first male

First female flower opening

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