Harvest: May onwards
Conditions: Sow 2 inches deep on a warm windowsill or in a propogator.
Courgettes are a fantastic plant, particularly if you’re planting your vegetables in amongst the flowers, because it is truly a feature of any garden. Give them plenty of space because they can grow up to a metre across, with leaves like dinner plates and enormous yellow flowers.
For a good, strong courgette plant, sow the seeds in a pot and begin the plant inside. They are very big plants and and it will be clear when they’re ready to go outside. Courgettes grow male and female flowers, with the fruits forming behind the female, but you don’t need to take off the male flowers. They need a good watering every day when they’re fruiting – courgettes are full of water – and in the season, you can harvest three a day. When the courgettes are about 6″ in length, cut them off the stem with a knife or a pair of secateurs. And let’s not forget that the big yellow blooms have their uses too – stuffed courgette flower anyone?
As we’ve already said, courgettes are big so you’ll need at least a 10″ pot.
Keep fresh – courgettes can be stored whole in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing – cut them into slices and blanch them for one minute, then freeze.