Courgettes are summer squash and strictly speaking, are a fruit rather than a vegetable. Unlike cucumber plants, which produce a very similar looking fruit, courgette plants have fantastic, large leaves and lovely, yellow, trumpet-like courgette flowers, adding colour to a kitchen garden as well as being a useful ingredient for a whole variety of meals.
Courgette Care Top Facts
- Courgette plants need protection from cold winds
- Require a well-draining, fertile soil
- These plants like to spread out, so give them plenty of space
- Moisture is the key to success
- Produces a high yield per plant
- Can hand-pollinate if necessary
When to plant courgette plants
Plant out your courgettes when all risk of frost is passed. If you’re growing them from seed, start them under glass or indoors from late April/ May.
Where To Grow Courgette Plants
The best place to plant Courgette plants is in full sun or partial shade, but do like to be sheltered from cold winds. They are not too fussy about the type of soil as long as it is well-drained and fertile.
How To Grow Courgette Plants
Courgettes are very heavy croppers and so just a few plants will be enough for most families. The soil needs to be very fertile, so dig in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure several weeks ahead of planting.
When you plant out your courgettes (after the risk of frost has passed), plant spacing needs to be at 60cm intervals. Keep well weeded, but take care not to damage the root structure.
When the first fruits start to swell, feed weekly and keep the soil moist, making sure that you water the roots and not the foliage.
If the weather is cold and there’s not much bee activity, then you may need to help your courgette plants by hand pollinating the female flowers (tiny marrow behind the petals). To do this, remove a male flower (thin stalk behind the petals), strip off the petals and dab gently into the female flower.
When To Harvest Courgette Plants
Courgettes are usually harvested when they are less than 20cm long. Regularly harvesting of the fruits will encourage your courgette plants to continue cropping. Your friends and neighbours will be delighted with the surplus.
How To Eat Courgettes
Courgettes can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, grilled, baked, barbecued and even the flower can be eaten when dipped in batter and lightly fried (delicious when filled with cream cheese!). Try courgette spaghetti using a spiraliser for a low-carbohydrate alternative to pasta!
Courgette Nutritional Information
As mentioned, courgette plants produce a high yield of fruits each season. But just one average-sized courgette should be enough to create a delicious and nutritious meal for two! Courgettes are low calorie and high in water and fibre, and also contain vitamins A, B-6 and C.
You may also be interested in Suttons courgette seeds and other popular vegetable plants. Suttons offer a nice range of courgette plants for sale, so there is a type for every taste.