The Curious Courgette

How to Grow Courgettes

July - the month of strawberries and cream at Wimbledon and the seemingly endless summer evenings – is when the first of the big hitters appear on our vegetable patch. If you need ideas for a small garden, look no further than a courgette (or zucchini to our friends across the pond).

Having been furiously growing leaves over the preceding months, these tropical-looking plants change gear to relentless courgette production. Each individual fruit – yes, courgettes are actually fruits! – swell and grow in a matter of days, emerging underneath their vibrant yellow flowers. It seems that every time you pick one, another elongated and inflated dark green cylinder appears, ready to grace your plate with a serving of summer.

The Curious Courgette is our pick for July.


Courgettes can sometimes be a little tricky to germinate, not being the biggest fans of cold weather. In a cold spring, they are best sown indoors. They also do germinate outdoors, but in cold weather this can take a lot longer.

An easy trick to help is to make small pots from the carboard tubes of old loo-rolls, scoop a bit of soil from your pot and place them on a plate on a windowsill.  

However, once they are up and running, they are pretty much unstoppable. They grow rapidly over 2-3 months with huge leaves capturing the golden rays from the sun, before turning their attention to express courgette making. Just like the plant, these also grow at a rate of knots.



It is very tempting to leave courgettes growing as they swell bigger and bigger, to wow friends and family alike with your expertly green fingers. However, for the best tasting courgettes, they should be harvested when they are 10-15 cm long. Harvesting the courgettes will also encourage the plant to produce more for you, so it’s a win-win!  

To harvest, you can either twist off the courgettes or use a sharp knife to cut them off.


There is so much you can do with a courgette.

In our opinion, there is nothing better than slicing up a courgette thinly (lengthways), chargrilling it, and serving with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, mint and basil (and some chilli if you are feeling adventurous).

Another great option is to try making courgetti for a fun take on pasta – but we would definitely recommend using a spiraliser rather than cutting them by hand!

Finally, you could stuff them. Halve the courgettes lengthways and use a spoon to scrape out the inner seedy part of the courgettes. You can then stuff them with whatever you fancy – we like a rice and vegetable mixture like this one

Felicity Cloake's Perfect Stuffed Courgettes

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