This may sound like a rather odd title for a post, but bear with me….
If you’re growing courgettes this year, right now you’re likely to be inundated with them, and busy trying to find new recipes to use them in or giving them away to friends, neighbours and any random stranger who’ll take them. This makes it the perfect time to grow a name in one of your courgettes; it’s dead easy, takes a couple of minutes and is an absolutely brilliant, fun gardening activity to try with children.
All you need to do is grab a toothpick, skewer or other pointy implement (obviously not too pointy if kids are doing it), and choose a small courgette still attached to the plant. Gently scratch your chosen word into the surface of the courgette – you don’t need to go very deep, and it’s worth supervising children as they do this. We’ve found that making short scratches and building up each letter bit by bit works best.
You will probably see a small amount of liquid seeping out of the letters, don’t worry about this as the skin will seal itself up pretty quickly.
Once you’re happy with your handiwork, all you need to do is leave the courgette to get bigger. As it grows, the letters become paler and obviously they grow too.
Courgettes grow really fast, so you don’t have to wait long for huge names – ours took about 2 weeks to get to this size!
It’s up to you how big you want your veg to get, obviously the longer you can wait the bigger your harvest. My children love doing this and it’s not just the wow factor of the huge name at the end that they enjoy; it’s also the regular checking to see how big they’re getting and the comparing between each other.
Another good reason to do this is that by letting a courgette grow really big on the plant you’ll slow down the development of new ones – quite useful when you’ve got a glut on your hands!
If you decide to give this fun gardening activity a go I’d love to see some pictures of your giant names – you can share them with me on my twitter or Facebook page. Do you think you’ll be giving it a try this summer?