Courgette – Zuccini

The Italian for courgette is Zuccini so these are effectively courgette courgette. Despite the unoriginal naming these are a cracking courgette plant. 052.JPG In the Kitchen These are pleasant tasting even when they have gone a bit over their desired size. However they are less flavoursome than Romanesco. They are thin skinned and tender and hold their shape well when cooked if picked small. Plant health and yield Plants are very healthy and productive and be warned you need to pick almost daily or end up with marrows on your hands.  Zucchini starts producing fairly early but is not parthinegenic so does require fertilisation by hand or insects. This courgette is not resistant to downy mildew. The courgettes themselves are attractive when young but a quickly bulk up into marrow like proportions so difficult to use for show without many plants. Grow Sow in late April to May undercover. I like to sow in root trainers which are long thin pots which split open to release the plant for planting. They are ideal for big seeds or plants that don’t like having their roots disturbed. Fill the root trainer with compost. Push one to two seeds per root trainer about 1.5 cm deep. Water and top up with compost if needed. Keep moist but not damp. If the squash gets too big for the root trainer before you can plant in the ground you will need to plant in to a larger pot. You will probably have to pot on at least once before planting out. The addition of heat in the form of a propagator or warm room when sowing will increase success. Plant out after all risk of frost has passed, with each plant at least 1 meter apart.  Squash are sprawling plants that like to grow in full sun, in a very fertile but well drained soil, enriched with copious amounts of well rotted manure. Water well at the base of the plant during warmer weather. A stick placed at the base of the plant on planting out can be a useful way of finding the base again once your squash plant has turned in to a monster. Just as it is hard to over water your squash, it is almost impossible to overfeed it. These are hungry plants and will relish weekly feeding Alternatives Zuccini Patty Pan Sunburst F1

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