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How to Grow Zesty Zucchinis

Zucchinis are also called baby marrows,  Courgettes or Summer squash. Zucchinis are what  is referred to as New world vegetables; they were  not available in their present form  until fairly recently. While they  may be delicious, Zucchinis will require some tender loving care though.

It was the Spanish conquerors who discovered Zucchini in Quatemala and Mexico . They later brought it to Europe in the 16th Century. Zucchini was introduced in the USA  in the 1950s by Italian immigrants where it became a very popular  vegetable .

In Italian Zucchini means sweetest while Europeans use the name Courgette which is a French word.

What are the advantages of Zucchini ?

Zucchinis are fast maturing and will ripen within 2 months of seeding. In addition they have frequent and continuous production. Even from the smallest spaces, you can have your zucchini up close. For the kitchen, Zucchinis are highly versatile. They appear in a wide range of recipes.

Zucchinis for your Kitchen

Zucchinis can be steamed or boiled and served with butter or spices. They are tasty in potjies.

A very healthy and nutritious method to prepare them is to slice them lengthwise, and after drizzling a little olive oil, add salt to taste, grill in oven until lightly scorched.

Zucchins can also be roasted, fried, sliced in salads like cucumber and pickled.

Advantages of Zucchini meals

Zucchinis are low in calories and are therefore ideal for dieters. They are high in vitamin  A and C , calcium and Iron .  The challenge is to be able to eat more Zucchinis and remain slim!

Growing Zucchinis

The following steps will be helpful in growing Zucchins.

  1. Sow seeds in containers, tin cans or flower pots. Place them in a protected warm area
  2. Sow seeds in plastic mini tunnels  closed with soil all round  to keep  them  more or less  airtight. The soil  is  warmed  by the sun  in the day  and heat prevented from  escaping  by the plastic.
  3. Make sunken areas  where  you can sow the seeds and  cover with  a sheet of plastic  level with  the soil –similar to the mini tunnels way.


Soil preparation and sowing

Zucchinis need  good soils that are fertile and well composted for vigour and productivity. The soil  should be free draining. The idea soil should have a pH 6-7


Spacing for Zucchinis should be 60cm-a part  in the rows and  120cm  apart between rows. Spray against cutworms before planting as these can be a menace.  Zucchinis are very productive, so just plant a few. Plant two seeds at a time, and when they sprout, remove the weaker seedlings.

Since Zucchinis are fast growers they require ample nitrogen. Apply nitrogen heavy fertilizer near each plant when they reach 3-4 leaves. Water well and apply mulch around the plant.


You can prevent moisture  loss and suppress weeds by mulching around the stems. Avoid having the mulch too close to the stem as pests can crawl up the stems. 

Pest and Diseases

For Zuchinis pests and diseases will appear   towards the end of the season.  You need hawkeyed vigilance. Powdery mildew can be a problem in later stages. If caught early systemic products can control the disease. Powdery lesions in older leaves should be sprayed immediately. Repeat the spraying every two weeks.

In cold areas pumpkin fly appears later in the season . Organic control this by  making a bait from 80g of sugar  and 2ml of malathion  in 1litre  of water.

Apply course droplets on the foliage and surrounding bushes.

You can also make a sleeve from old newspapers which you can wrap around the young fruit leaving only the end open for bees to pollinate. Various viruses, spread by aphids also attack the crop in late season. Watch out for pale plants and lumpy fruits. Pull out these and spray for aphids.


Harvest your zucchinis before they get too mature. Use a sharp knife to server the fruit and avoid damaging the plant.

Zucchini hacks

Always stack the plant

Keep picking up fruits as they mature. If picked too late, they will grow large and stop producing.

Practice crop rotation. It is better to plant at a site where the previous crop is not affected by eelworms.


Making Creamy courgettees and pasta dish.


20g of ribbon pasta

1/3  cupof sour sauce

Paemesan cheese1/3 cup grated

30g of butter

1/3 cupof cream

4 baby marrowa

Pepper dew and courgeettee flowers for garnish

Cook pasta in boiling silted water until tender,drain

Do not peel baby marrows

Use a vegetable peeler to cut marrows into lengthwise thin slices. Melt butter and add baby marrow slices, gently stirring until tender. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and cream. Season to taste. Add cooked pasta and return to stove and gently  heat. Do not allow to boil . Remove and add grated permesum cheese and baby marrow slices.

Serve garnished with slice peeperdews and coquette flowers.

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