Courgette One Ball is an exciting variety of squash which I grew for the first time in 2020. As the covid lockdown continued to bite I spent more time than ever planting seeds and trying new varieties of vegetables. I have to say that I consider Courgette One Ball one of my finest discoveries, and one that I plan to make part of my regular annual growing list.
Courgette One Ball Fruits
As the name suggests, Courgette One Ball fruits are an interesting and unusual circular shape. Measuring a few inches across (typically 3” or so) they’re also a very manageable size, ideal for those readers who either live by themselves or find the marrow-sized courgettes of many plants a little intimidating to deal with.
Courgette One Ball fruits are also a pretty yellow colour, making them really quite attractive. Indeed, while I grew some Courgette One Ball in my vegetable plot, I also experimented with adding a few plants to my summer borders. The attractive foliage combined with the yellow, round fruits actually made quite an appealing display.
I guess just as crucial as how Courgette One Ball fruits *look* is also how they taste. Here I was not disappointed. While I don’t *love* courgette, I have to admit that Courgette One Ball is probably the tastiest variety I’ve grown in all my years of vegetable gardening.
They are particularly good gently roasted in the oven, drizzled with a little olive oil to stop them burning. Trust me – prepare your tastebuds for quite an experience!
Growing Courgette One Ball From Seed
Courgette One Ball is very simple to grow from seed. No fancy techniques or equipment are required.
Courgette One Ball can be planted straight into your vegetable beds once the chances of frost have passed, however I would recommend starting your seeds under glass earlier in the season. March and April are ideal months to plant your Courgette One Ball seeds.
Simply pop the seeds into individual flower pots, cover with a centimetre or two of compost, water well, and keep them somewhere warm. If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse, even if unheated, they are the perfect place to start your Courgette One Ball seeds. Alternatively they can be left on a sunny windowsill.
Courgette One Ball seeds germinate pretty quickly in my experience, and the resultant seedlings grow on well. When you see that first green leaf making its appearance then be sure to give your Courgette One Ball plants as much sun as possible. This will maximize growth while simultaneously minimising the chances of them getting too leggy.
Pot up as necessary and grow on until the plants are vigorous and healthy, and the last of the frosts have passed. This is likely to be May for many of us in temperate regions.
Planting Out Courgette One Ball
Courgette One Ball appreciates a sunny position if it is to thrive. That said, it does not seem to require sunshine all day long, so can still produce a healthy crop of fruit in less-ideal conditions.
In my first year of growing Courgette One Ball I planted it in an east-facing border. This border got bright sunlight from very early in the morning, but the plants were then in shade from mid-afternoon onwards. The plants still seemed to do fine in these conditions.
As with other courgette varieties, Courgette One Ball fruits may rot if left in contact with the ground, especially in damp weather. Try to remove any such fruits nice and early, encouraging your plant to produce further fruit in more suitable positions.
In terms of growth, Courgette One Ball is reasonably undemanding. Simply provide sufficient feed (such as adding compost to the hole when planting out) and water generously throughout the season. Other than that you can largely ignore your Courgette One Ball plants, simply picking off courgettes at will all summer long.
When to Harvest Courgette One Ball
Larger Courgette One Ball fruits can lose their appeal. In my experience they can become tough and slightly bitter. The smaller, younger fruits are definitely much more enjoyable to eat. A decent harvest size is around 3-4” in diameter.
It is better to pick frequently, routinely harvesting small fruits rather than waiting for them to attain full size in my opinion.
Harvest just as you would with other courgette plants. Either a sharp knife or a pair of secateurs are the easiest tools for removing the fruits from the plant. Be careful of the stems, which can have sharp spines on them. You may wish to wear gardening gloves when grasping the stems to prevent minor cuts and abrasions.
Pests & Problems
So far I have found that Courgette One Ball suffers very little in the way of pests and diseases. Like other courgette varieties the leaves can be hit with mold in particularly damp weather. Planting your Courgette One Ball in an open vegetable bed, where lots of air circulation is possible, will help to minimize this.
The Courgette One Ball plants I popped into my summer beds seemed at far greater risk of developing problems, likely as these beds were more densely-planted, and hence remained damper through the summer.
As mentioned, fruits that touch the ground may rot, especially in damper weather, so these are best removed early on.
Other than that, I have experienced no major issues with Courgette One Ball. Indeed, apart from an occasional water this is an ideal crop, even for the less experienced gardener, as it will largely take care of itself. Indeed, you’ll probably spend more time harvesting juicy yellow courgettes than you will actually looking after the plants. What could be better?