Very prolific, courgettes are easily grown. Of various colors and shapes, once on site they can produce in quantity. To cope with their abundance, think about cooking them in ratatouille or freezing them to take full advantage of them in the cold season.
Botanical namePepo cucurbitsSowingApril – JulyTransplant3-4 weeks after sowingPlantMay JuneFlooringfresh, light, rich in organic matterHarvestJuly – Octoberrobustnesscold plant
Like other cucurbits , courgettes come to us from America and were brought to Europe by the conquerors.
Their wild ancestors were all bitter , and the domestication of these plants was probably done primarily for the consumption of the seeds, which are rich in lipids and proteins .
Today courgettes find their place in all vegetable gardens . They have a delicate flavor and are appreciated as slimming vegetables, low in calories and rich in mineral salts.
very prolific, two or three feet are enough not only to delight the whole family during the summer, but also to decorate the neighbors’ table. And its cultivation is very easy…
To grow well, courgettes need sun and heat , fresh , fertile and loose soil. Bring organic fertilizer before cultivation, they appreciate fresh organic matter .
How to sow courgettes
- In April sow 3 seeds per pot , sheltered at 20°C , in the light .
- In open ground sow under tunnels at the beginning of May and outdoors from mid-May to mid-July in the south.
- Place 3 seeds in pockets spaced 80 cm to 1 m apart depending on the variety.
- Keep only one plant in each pocket.
Sow the hot pumpkin
There are many varieties of courgettes : white courgettes, round courgettes, round courgettes.
Here we are talking about sowing green courgettes from horticulturists and white courgettes .
- Fill biodegradable pots to the top with ready-to-use potting soil for seedlings and cuttings .
- Install them in an unperforated tray .
- Make preliminary holes , then sow three seeds per pot of green courgettes, making sure they are no longer visible.
- With the same principle sow white courgettes in white.
- Variety of labels .
- Water directly into the tray over 2/3 cm.
- Cover with a lid.
- Install warm at 20°C .
- At first there is no need for light, until they get up.
- Then put them in bright light .
A second courgette plant
Transplanting a young zucchini plant
- In April : sow in a warm bucket for planting in May.
- From May to mid-July: sow directly on site, in bags enriched with compost , spaced 1 m apart in all directions. Sow three seeds in each pocket and keep the plant looking nicer after emergence. One or two legs are enough for four people. Hoe , weed the young courgettes, mulch the soil when they are well rooted. Do not wet the foliage when watering.
- Late sowing : at the end of summer courgettes are often affected by powdery mildew which can interrupt the harvest prematurely .
- In regions with mild autumns, sow again in July . These plants will take over between August and September and until frost.
When and how to plant zucchini plants
- Once the soil has warmed enough, plant the courgettes .
- Install non-climbing varieties about 80cm apart in all directions and climbing varieties 1m apart, in planting holes at least 20cm square, about ten centimeters deep .
- The holes must be prepared in advance and enriched with compost .
When to harvest courgettes
The harvest takes place two to three months after sowing : the courgettes are harvested young , tender , when they measure between 15 and 25 cm in length. Harvest the courgettes as they develop and as needed without letting them get too large.
How to grow a zucchini plant
Water, hoe, mulch to a thickness of 5 cm when the plants are well developed. This mulch will maintain soil moisture and limit weeding. During watering, be careful not to wet the leaves , to limit powdery mildew attacks.
Pinch the courgettes if they are climbing varieties.
Signs of dehydration: Leaves lean towards the ground, mid or late in the day.
Watering frequency: abundant , to water the foliage, 2 or 3 times a week. Once less if straw .
Water quality: not too cold.
How to water: at the feet, without wetting the foliage , to avoid powdery mildew.
- This operation is performed in two stages. When the plant has issued between four and six leaves, pinch , i.e. cut the stem above the first two leaves.
- Use a small pruner or bill pruner so pruning is easy .
- From this pinching two new stems will be born on which the first flowers appear, then the first fruits .
- Allow some courgettes to develop and cut again above the second leaf located after the last preserved fruit.
Courgette diseases and pests
Control snails by surrounding plants with pellets
- In hot weather and if there is no shortage of water, the fruits grow quickly . Harvest them every other day when they are 20cm long or 10cm in diameter.
- Powdery mildew stains the foliage , cuts the affected leaves , tears the stem if a younger one takes over.
- Snails devour young plants , provide iron-based pellets , permitted in organic gardening. Renew them after heavy rains.
The shapes and colors of courgettes are diversifying.
Among the classic long and green ones, adopt ‘ Precoce maraichère ‘, with a light skin and fine, soft pulp. ‘ Diamond ‘, early and productive, harvests easily. A vigorous variety, ‘ Black Beauty ‘ stands out for its dark skin. ‘ Gold Rush ‘ produces elongated, yellow fruits with soft, sweet flesh.
Original plant varieties:
Round courgettes’ De Nice à fruit rond ‘, the round fruits are harvested small for the tender pulp, larger to prepare stuffed courgettes. Also try the light-skinned “ Géode ” and the subtle-tasting “ One ball ”.Courgettes ‘Parador’beautiful long, yellow fruits, very resistant to diseases.Courgettes ‘Papaya Pere’almost round, it has the shape of an electric light bulb, bright yellow in colour. Tender pulp, with a pronounced flavour. Semi-runner, reserve this for large vegetable gardens.
Crop rotation and associations
Courgettes take the place of spring turnips , leeks , monthly radishes or salsify .
Good combinations in the vegetable garden: basil , nasturtium, summer cabbage, broad bean , corn , calendula , calendula, thyme .