15 Jun 2011

Grow Your Own Guide - Courgette

Grow from: seed to pot in 10 weeks in a sunny, sheltered place.

Courgette is a member of the squash family and grow really big. There are many different varieties and colours.

1. Push two seeds on their sides down into a 1.5cm deep hole in a small pot filled with soil. Water well, label, and put the pot on a windowsill.

2. Remove the weakest seedling and put the strong one outside during the daytime. Cover the plant with part of a palstic bottle for protection.

3. When the roots begin to show through the bottom of the pot, the plant is ready to place into the ground or a big container. Dig out a hole.

4. Tip the young plant out of its pot, carefully supporting it at the base of its stem. Place it in the hole, fill gaps with soil, pat around it and water.

5. Look out for the bright yellow male and female flowers. They open up to attract insects, which will pass pollen from the male to female flowers.

6. Water the soil around the plant and not over it,as this could cause rotting. Keep the soil moist. Use a liquid feed to encourage more fruit to grow.

7. Pick off the female flower from the tip of the growing courgette. These can be cooked and eaten. If left on, they will shrivel and drop off by themselves.

8. Cut the courgettes at their base when they reach 10cm long.

Courgettes are young marrows, so you might choose to leave a few attached to grow twice as long to become large marrows.

Plant in pots - keep well fed and watered. You could bury a small pot into the soil next to your plant. Water into this, so the water flows to the roots of the plant.

To Buy

Thompson and Morgan - Visit site
Marshalls - Visit site

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