The zucchini (AKA courgette or summer squash) is a versatile vegie that can be baked, stuffed, BBQ’ed and even added to cakes! And because of its mild flavour it’s perfect for sneaking a little goodness into your fusspot’s food. But why settle for floppy and flavourless zucchinis from the supermarket when you can easily grow your own? These dark green (or yellow), cucumber resembling little beauties are fast growing (even from seed) and will be sure to give young gardeners a thrill when they’re served on the kitchen table. Zucchinis thrive in the warmth so are best sown in the spring/summer months.
What you’ll need
Zucchini seeds of your choice
My First GardenTM
Good quality potting mix
Water-filled watering can
Liquid seaweed concentrate
Organic mulch (lucerne hay or pea straw)
How to grow
- Choose a position for your raised garden bed that gets full sun.
- Prepare your garden bed with potting mix.
- Sow your zucchini seeds about 2cm deep.
- When your seedlings are a month old, apply a layer of mulch around the plants to preserve water and suppress weeds.
- Feed with a liquid seaweed concentrate about once a fortnight and keep well watered. Be on the look out for sneaky snails and slugs munching on your seedlings!
- Once a zucchini flower is pollinated you should have a fully grown fruit in a blink of an eye! Harvest your crops when they are around 15cm long as if you let them become too big they’ll be tougher and less flavoursome.
Aunty Court’s Zucchini and Haloumi fritters
Anything with haloumi is sure to be delicious but when you pair zucchini with this squeaky cheese it takes it to a whole new level! Kids will love helping out with this dish and they’ll get to use some of the other produce growing in their garden bed.
4 medium zucchinis, grated
180g haloumi cheese, grated
5 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
2/3 cup self-raising flour
½ cup milk
1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Sift flour into a bowl. Make a well in the middle. Whisk milk and eggs together in a jug and then pour into the well. Whisk batter until smooth.
- Squeeze the excess moisture from the zucchini with your hands. Stir zucchini, haloumi, onion and dill into the batter.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Use about a ¼ cup of mixture per fritter and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden.
- Serve with a tzatziki dip and lemon wedges.
Zucchini’s are much more than a pretty long face. They’re a good source of vitamin C to keep the immune system strong and deliver a healthy dose of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that promote healthy peepers.