Grow your own… Courgettes

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Courgettes are easy to grow and while the vegetables themselves are delicious, so too are their flowers.

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Courgettes are easy to grow and while the vegetables themselves are delicious, so too are their flowers.

Courgettes love to grow in sunny places and are best sown outside in late May or early June. You can also buy young plants from garden centres.

Courgettes can be sown straight into the ground where they are going to grow, so make sure the space you are going to sow is free of weeds by using a trowel to remove them.

Prepare a square of soil about 60cm in width for each sowing. Sow two or three seeds 2.5cm deep in the middle of each of your prepared squares. Cover the seeds with cloches, jars or horticultural fleece and leave in place for two weeks, or as long as possible, after germination.

When the seedlings have developed, thin out to leave the strongest one.

Courgettes are thirsty plants and need to be watered every week around the plant, but not on the leaves. If the water is left to sit around the neck of the plant, it can lead to rotting. Try digging a hole near the plant, placing a small plant pot in the hole and watering into the plant pot to help the water get straight to the roots.

Harvest the courgettes when they are about 10-12cm long. Picking regularly when they are small will ensure you get a long cropping period.

Adapted from Royal Horticultural Society advice, www.rhs.org.uk 

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