Courgettes and cucumbers are very alike and belong to the same family. Courgettes can have yellow or green skin. Courgettes are easy to grow vegetable plants. They can be boiled, fried or baked, but can also be eaten raw. You can even slice them and pickle them like gherkins. A very versatile vegetable.
Origin and health benefits
Originally, courgettes originated from the southern states of the USA and Mexico. Europe only learned of this tasty veg. in the 16th century. A courgette is easily digested, full of fibre and minerals and can be used in many kitchen recipes.
Courgettes contain very few calories – a serving of 150 g only contains 50 calories. They are also rich in potassium and great for lowering our blood pressure. Related to the cucumber, we highly recommend them.
Courgettes grow fast! You can harvest the first courgettes only 6 weeks after sowing the seed, as long as the temperature is high enough. It is therefore necessary to regularly check your crop for good sized, edible courgettes – young and fresh and about 15 cm long is tastiest. If it’s not rained for a while give them some extra water. A courgette can quickly reach a weight of several kilograms.
Know your courgette
- Only plant out your courgette seedlings after all chance of frost is passed – they really cannot and will not abide the cold.
- Harvest at around 300 g – 15 cm long.
- Young plants are healthier and will fruit faster, so plant rows a few weeks apart during the season..
- To protect the fruits and prevent them from getting dirty, spread straw or black garden plastic over the soil underneath your courgette plants.
For more tips on planting and caring for courgettes, see our gardening advice pages online.