Growing courgettes, popularly known as zucchinis, is relatively simple as it grows on most kinds of soil. Since it is easy and quick to grow, reluctant children can be encouraged to try gardening by starting with courgette cultivation. Both the courgette flowers and the fruits can be used for cooking.
Growing Courgettes – Know the Basics
Growing courgettes is simple because it adapts well to different kinds of soil. Choose a sunny spot with fertile soil to grow courgettes. Ensure that there is no frost at the time of planting, because cold weather can kill the plants. It will be ideal to grow the courgettes at temperatures over 15 degrees Celsius. Courgettes can also easily be grown on pots in greenhouses. The soil should be moist and you can enrich it with plenty of compost. The best time to sow the seeds is between March and May. Place each seed about one inch deep in the soil. The plants require plenty of water, especially during the flowering and fruiting period. The major pests that can destroy the growing courgettes are slugs and aphids. Use suitable pesticides against them. Either courgette flowers or the fruits can be harvested based on the preference.
Courgette Plants – Growth and Harvest
Home-grown courgette plants if cared well can yield plenty of flowers and fruits that can be used for making fritters, in salads, pickles and many other recipes. The courgette plants come in bush variety and the trailing vine variety. The vine variety can take up a lot of space as it spreads across very quickly. Pinch the growing ends of the trailing plants to induce the plant to produce fruits. Two reliable varieties for producing green courgettes are ‘Defender’ and ‘All Green Bush’. ‘Burpees Golden’ and ‘Gold Bush’ varieties produce the golden yellow fruits. The ideal time for harvesting the courgette fruits is when it is 10 to 15 centimeters long.
Courgette Flowers – For Delicious Recipes
Many delicacies can be prepared using the courgette flowers, and since it is very rare to find it in the markets, it is much easier to grow and harvest them in your own gardens. The flowers can be harvested at intervals of two months. Both the male and the female courgette flowers are edible and the best time to harvest the flowers is when the flowers are fully open. The female flowers have the immature fruit attached to it while the male flowers have long stalks. The male flowers are frequently used in Italian cooking. You can preserve the flowers by storing in Ziploc bags in the fridge and use it within 3 days. The most common way of cooking the flowers is to dip them in batter and fry as golden brown fritters. The flowers can also be stuffed with various seasonings and herbs.