Growing courgettes and marrows

by Jane Moore

I can't say it's a surprise - I've been expecting the annual appearance of a whopping great marrow on one of my courgette plants.

MarrowsI can't say it's a surprise - I've been expecting the annual appearance of a whopping great marrow on one of my courgette plants. It happens every year, without fail. I try to be so thorough when I'm picking, delving under the leaves, harvesting regularly and carefully. I even pick the courgettes when they're really quite small if I know I can't get to the plot for a while, so they don't turn into whoppers.

But there always seems to be one that escapes my eagle eye, and I end up with an out-sized vegetable that could be seen from space. I wouldn't mind so much if marrows weren't so tasteless, but they're not a patch on sweet courgettes. After years of inadvertent marrow production, I've discovered a good Sophie Grigson marrow soup recipe, and marrow is okay cubed and roasted with cumin and a few other spices. Any further suggestions welcome!

The problem improved once I started growing the coloured varieties like 'Gold Rush' and 'Jemmer', which are easily spotted among the leaves. But the truth is that I really love the stripy green marrows, particularly the Italian varieties with exotic names; it's those I fail to spot as they vanish among the foliage.

So, I'd better expand my recipe repertoire, as it seems likely that this marrow crisis will continue to be an annual event. Marrow chutney, anyone?

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Gardeners' World Web User 23/08/2008 at 08:18

I have substituted marrow this summer for carrot and celery in chicken soup with rice - it adds this really delicious, subtle top note when it's been cooked in homemade stock. Once you stop expecting marrow to taste like courgette, and accept that the flavour is much more delicate, you get loads more out of it!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/08/2008 at 18:23

A stuffed 'Marrow' is very tasty. What you do is take a nice sized 'Marrow'(small enough to fit in the oven) and slice through the one end with a sharp knife, about 1.1/2 -2" opposite end to the stalk. You then scoop out the inside fleshy part of the Marrow and seeds, and stuff with semi-cooked vegetables, fish, prawns, meat or whatever takes your fancy, place the end that you sliced through at the beginning, back onto the end of the 'Marrow' then wrap the whole thing in foil(as you would with a 'Turkey')making sure the end cap is positioned and sealed with the foil, then place in the oven on a baking tray at a medium - high heat setting for approx. 1 and quarter hrs, checking and turning occasionally to ensure an all over bake.

Gardeners' World Web User 24/08/2008 at 14:20

i want to grow giant marrow,come on everyone let,s bring back the village or town show as everyone has gone mad and now growing their own,ginger and marrow jam is delightful.

Gardeners' World Web User 24/08/2008 at 16:55

last week I read that marrows could be stored but did not say how to store - any suggestions?

Gardeners' World Web User 25/08/2008 at 10:12

Try this book What Will I Do with All Those Courgettes? (Paperback) by Elaine Borish (Author) 150 different recipes. Haven't tried them all but the ones I've tried are delicious.

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