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Productive gardening in Wexford

Growing Vegetables! -COURGETTE Back yard farming

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Courgettes, zuchinni, Marrows its all the same. Marrows are just fully grom.

In the same family as the pumkin melon and cucumber these are very easy to grow almost anywhere and can reawrd you with a lot of harvested food.

There are numerous ways to cook courgettes. You will only need a few plants to produce huge amounts of fruits later one can be left to ripen fully and be stored as marrows. Smaller ones can be stored for a little while but it's best to cook them and freeze to sotre. I like to grill them slowley after being soakced in an olive oil lemon juice salt pepper and chooped garlic and herbs. Then they can be stored in bottles of oil for a few weeks to a month or stored in the freezer rolled up and packed in boxes. Given a half decent summer they are prolific.

Courgettes are fast and easy to grow and grow best if you start them off in 3in. (7.5cm) pots in the house on a sunny window sill or in a greehouse or a poly tunnel if they are available for you.

The best time to sow seeds is in the second half of April so you can plant them out when the danger of frost has passed. Some people sow them in March but early-sown courgettes will need a lot more care and space than anything else in the greenhouse. Later sowings work better.

Most courgettes are F1 varieties so they are reliable but the upside of F1 seed is that you only need to put one seed per pot, rather than sow two and end up having both come up. But I find cheap supper marekts ones fine as you can always grow lots and give them to people or flog them on ebay or swap them with other gardeners for other Veg plants you dont have.

If you sow in early June you can guarantee late summer cropping if the first batch gets tired. This also allows for you to get marrows sized for later eating or storage.

TIPs for Growing Courgettes in Wexford

Prevent the white leaf-coating fungus, powdery mildew, by keeping plants well watered through the summer. The fungus attacks when the roots are dry and the air is foggy or damp a problem in Rosslare and Kilrane so, to ensure watering gets deep into the soil, I bury a pipe with beside the plants or you can use a soda bottle with the end cut off and half buried in the soil. Or rake up the earth around the plant to make easily filled reservoirs that will direct water to the roots. I use the rock I rake out to make a ring fort around the plants about a foot across so the water can pool and seep in deep.


Courgette's are tender, so sow under glass or plastic or in a very sunny area. Cold nights are not nice to them but they can handle and Ireland summer well a wexford done anyway. When they are young cover with plastics at night to help speed up growth or if you have cloche or such like that will help.


Courgette's love lots of rich humus for best results dig out a pit 1ft. (30cm) deep and wide and refill, mixing in compost/rotted manure with the soil as you go. On heavy soils plant on to a mound to increase drainage or add some grit to the soil mix remove large rocks but you can leave smaller stones. The site should be sunny and sheltered from the wind. Keep it free of weeds with regular hoeing untill the plants get a good start. Lift fruits when you on to some wood or plastic trays to help stop then being attacked from the ground or rotting.


In April soak seeds overnight then sowing one seed to a 3in. (7.5cm) pot of moist, multi-purpose compost. Place in the greenhouse or porch or sunny window. Harden off over a couple of weeks and plant once you're sure all risk of frost has passed. Space about plants 3ft. (90cm) apart each way. Keep grass trimmed if any near by to prevent slugs and other critters climbing on and eating them.


Feed plants with liquid fertiliser to boost slow growth or seaweed extract if the leaves start yellowing. If you can't get seaweed extract feeds then use from Epson salts added to a normall plant food suitable for fruit n veg.

HARVESTING Courgette - Marrow- Zuchinni- FRUITS

Pick them young and small for the best flavour and often to keep them coming and prevent the courgettes swelling into marrows this slows production down on the whole plant effectivle retarding growth. It makes more sense in nature for the plant to focus on one big fruit rather then many smaller ones. So when you pick the fruits, the plants detect this as failure and try again once you leave it alone and one gets big it then puts all its energy into that large fruit. The flowers make great skins for stuffing with minces or spicy rice while finger-sized courgettes are ideal dip-sticks in salads. Pick round varieties while they're still small (tennis ball size is about right) and solid. Small ones are nice raw and excess flowers can be used by dipping in light batter and deep frying. See below for recipes.


"Parthenon" F1 is the one to sow if you believe a bad summer is coming. It's partially self-fertile so, unlike other varieties, it doesn't need bees to set fruits. Traditional green shape. "Tricolour" F1 has glossy round fruits that ripen from pale to dark green and then yellow. They taste best when green but are better for stuffing when big and yellow.
"Parador" F1 is a yellow zucchini type with thinner skin than the green version and milder flavour. It looks great on the plate. grow courgettes  zuzhinni, marrrows KRHARA kilrane rosslare harbour active retirement associaiton courgetts gardening growing your own vegetables and herbs cooking recipes stay healthy

"Ambassador" F1 produces tasty green courgettes early in the year, as well as good quality marrows if you can't keep on picking them.

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