You could either grow zucchini—easy enough—or wait for a veggie-growing friend to deposit baskets of this notoriously prolific summer squash on your doorstep. Trouble is: gifted zucchini are usually overgrown blimps. Grow your own and you can pick them small and tender. Like most vegetables, zucchini needs a place in the sun. Two or three plants may suffice, and it's a good plan to concentrate whatever compost (or composted manure) you have underneath the plants.
To prepare a ‘hill,’ dig out a metre-wide circle of soil to a depth of 20 centimetres, dump in three or four pails of compost (or a bag or two of manure) and stir the good stuff into the ground before replacing the removed soil. Sculpt the space with a rake and your hands to form a shallow crater or bowl with a raised rim all around.
When the soil is warm and the weather summery, set in three transplants—either your own started indoors three weeks earlier or nursery plants—in a triangle with 40 to 50 centimetres between them. Otherwise, sow three groups of three seeds each on the same spacing, and thin eventually to the strongest seedling in each place.
Water, weed and feed once or twice—and stand back. With a little care, the plants will grow lush, large and dark green; and before long, big exotic (and edible) yellow blossoms will be followed by an abundance of fruit—you may be foisting the odd basketful on friends and neighbours yourself.
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