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Crazy about courgettes

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Crazy about courgettes

By Tod Palenski, Awapuni Nurseries

Mmmm courgettes - otherwise known as zucchini. Stuffed, roasted, baked, barbecued or thrown into a simple stir-fry - they're certainly a versatile veg and a great one for the garden.

The important thing to note about cultivating courgettes is they like to be in a nice, sunny spot with plenty of drainage. But, I have to say, they're a little fussy - they don't like getting their leaves wet because it tends to spread diseases, so stay away from overhead watering.

Instead, water around the plants and surround them with pea straw so they don't sit on the ground.

Just like human babies, newly planted crops are a bit unstable and need some protection. I like to cut a milk container and put it over the top of the plant (until it gets established) to stop the wind blowing around. But don't forget to leave a hole open at the top.

Or, better still, plant your courgettes in a roomy pot. Because pots are free draining, the plant doesn't sit in water and when the vegetables start to emerge, they hang nicely over the sides. So grab some courgette seedlings from your local Bunnings, The Warehouse or supermarket.

Better still, head to our online shop at www.awapuni.co.nz and get the seedlings delivered straight to your door. Purchase six or more items and get free delivery to a non-rural address or pay just $4 for delivery to a rural address.

Planting's easy - simply dig a little hole, approximately 3cm deep, and space each seedling around 10cm apart.

Growing courgettes takes about 12 weeks, so now's the perfect time to get planting. Don't be put off by my care instructions - they're generally really easy to cultivate and a common staple in New Zealand gardens. Remember - the more water you give, the bigger they get, eventually turning into a type of marrow.

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