With all the sowing / planting of your courgettes
(zucchini) completed their care needs are very simple. Keep them
well-watered and fed. They grow so quickly that watering will be
essential when the weather is warm and dry.
Feeding is best done with a liquid feed about once every two
weeks. Regular weeding will prevent competition for food and water.
A layer of grass-cuttings or well-rotted compost on the soil around
(but definitely not touching) your plants will conserve moisture and
help prevent weeds.
Pollination is not normally a problem for courgettes
and zucchini as the picture on the right illustrates. Just
click the picture to see an enlarged version with the bees.
However in windy weather it may be necessary to hand pollinate,
this will also be necessary if growing in a greenhouse or under
cloches. To hand pollinate, identify a female and a male flower (see
Female flower 1
Female flower 2
Male flower 2
See in the pictures above that female flowers have a thickening
immediately below the flower. In contrast the male plants have a
straight stem below the flower. Click any of the pictures to see them
Don't be concerned if you only see male flowers. They always appear
first, female flowers will soon appear. Strip the petals of a nearby
male flower and place the central part into the central part of the
female flower. Gently brush them together.
Harvest courgettes / zucchini when they are
about 10cm (4in) long. Let them grow longer and they will gradually turn
into marrows and loose their taste and texture. By harvesting young you
will encourage more fruit to appear.
Either cut them off with a sharp knife or twist them off with your
Courgettes are so prolific that it's difficult to know how to use them some
times. Click any one of the recipes below for a tasty meal using courgettes.
SWEET AND SOUR VEGETABLES
CHICKEN AND PASTA SOUP
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