How to plant and grow: Courgettes

Everyone loves a courgette. Whether fried, roasted or stuffed, courgettes and
marrows are versatile and tasty accompaniments to any summer dish. Here is our
easy guide to help you plant and grow your own courgettes at home.

1. Vertically push each seed into a composted pot, water, drain and place inside on a
warm windowsill during late April/early May.

2. Late May is the perfect time to plant your courgettes outdoors (as by now there
should be no-more frosts), whether in your vegetable patch or a pot of grow-bag.
How ever you choose to grow your courgettes, make sure you do so in a sunny
location.

3. Harden off the potted courgette seeds by leaving them outside during the day and
bring them in at night for at least one week. This will help them to acclimatize to the
outdoors.

4. Add compost to your soil (about 1/3 compost to 2/3 soil) and turn using a garden
fork.

5. If planting into a vegetable patch, each seedling should be planted 50-100cm
away from each other. Otherwise each one can be planted in a grow-bag or 30cm-
wide patio pot. (You can sow two seeds next to each other and after a couple of
weeks, throw out the weaker one to promote the growth of the stronger seedling).

6. Courgettes are thirsty blighters so make sure you water them well. Ideally during
drier weeks, make sure they are watered at least once a week (for patch courgettes)
and much more frequently if planted in bags or pots.

7. Your courgettes should be ready to harvest by July-September. How big your
courgette should be before harvesting varies but generally they are ready when
10cm long (or 20cm for marrows).

8. Cut the fruit from the plant using a sharp knife (never break off the courgettes from
the plant). Remember to keep cutting the, away at least once a week (three times
if you do not get bored of them easily!) to keep the plant productive and producing
courgettes.