How to grow courgettes
A guide on how to grow and harvest courgettes, plus three great recipes for using them in your kitchen.
The delicious. team can’t get enough of courgettes, for their taste, versatility and for the bright, summery greens and yellows they add to our plates.
A single courgette plant will keep you in fruit all summer. If growing from seed, fill a 7.5cm pot with compost and plant on its side, 2.5cm deep. Cover, water and put in a propagator or on a sunny windowsill to germinate. Keep moist and when the roots show through the drainage holes, move into a 12.5cm pot. In early summer, plant into a 30-40cm diameter pot filled with multi-purpose compost. Or buy a ready-grown young plant and plant out in early summer. Water regularly.
Harvest fruit with a sharp knife when about 10cm long. To keep fertile, pick up to three times a week.
What to look for when you buy
Small, young courgettes will have more flavour than larger ones. As courgettes grow bigger, they become more watery and bland. Look for courgettes that feel heavy for their size with shiny, green, unblemished skin. Young courgettes sometimes come with flowers attached. These are great stuffed with ricotta and lemon zest, coated in tempura batter, then deep-fried – see the recipe here.
How to eat them
Courgettes are so versatile – try them spiralised and eaten raw as courgetti, or pare thin strips with a potato peeler, toss in a lemony dressing then serve alongside your favourite roast chicken recipe. Or be more adventurous with these recipes…