How to grow courgettes

 

 

 

 

 

The Gardening Angel Guide to Growing Courgettes 

Wondering how to grow courgettes? It couldn't be easier! The best way to grow courgettes, in our opinion, is in our award winning Quadgrow planter, which will produce bumper harvests of courgettes with no watering stress! Read on for our top tips for growing courgettes in container.

When to sow courgette seeds indoors in the UK

If you are growing courgettes from seed, we recommend starting them off in seed trays and pots indoors from mid- to late April.

When to sow courgette seeds outdoors in the UK

If you are sowing courgette seeds outside, sow in late May or early June. Warm the soil first with horticultural fleece, and cover the sown seeds with cloches for at least two weeks after germination. You should sow two or three seeds 2.5cm (1in) deep.

You may want to grow courgettes from young plants, which are available from most garden centres in Spring. If this is the case, you'll want to plant them out around May - early June, once all the unpredictable cold spells and frosts are gone.

 

How to germinate courgette seeds indoors

 

For best results, germinate your courgettes seeds indoors by sowing the seeds in a heated propagator at 18-21°C (65-70°F). Sow  courgette seeds individually on their side, 13mm (½in) deep, in 7.5cm (3in) pots of compost.

 

How long does it take for courgette seeds to germinate?

 

Courgette seeds normally germinate in around 7 to 10 days and the young seeds will develope their true leaves fairly quickly.

 

When to pot on courgette seedlings

 

Pot on your courgette seedlings into your Quadgrow pots outdoors or in a greenhouse in late May and watch them thrive!

 

How much water do courgettes need how and often should

I water my courgette plants?

 

Courgettes are very thirsty plants and giving them enough water is important for them to thrive! We've designed the Quadgrow planter so you never have to worry about the daily watering schedule! The Quadgrows Pots sit on top of a 30L SmartReservoir - the FeederMarts inside each pots will deliver water and nutrients to your palnts roots exactly when they need it, meaning your thirsty courgettes are never over or underwatered. The water will go straight to the roots, and won't sit around the next of the plant rotting it. Simply top up your SmartReservoir every 7-14 days with fresh water and plant food (we recommend our Nutrigrow solution, which you'll get free with your Quadgrow).

 

How does the Quadgrow avoid overwatering courgette plants?

 

Because the feeding system works with the air gaps in the soil, the plants roots will take up as much as they need and no more, meaning there is no overwatering of courgettes. 

 

How to avoid common problems with courgette plants

 

A common problem for courgettes as a powdery mildew on the leaves - this appears as a white powdery deposit over the leaves, which become shrivelled. One fix is to keep the soil moist, which the Quadgrow will do for you. If you are growing in a greenhouse or polytunnel, ensure you have adequate ventilation. You may also wish to use a Anti-Leaf Disease Kit. Ideally you should remove any infected leaves.

 

If your greenhouse has spores hanging around it, you may get grey mould (botrytis)  on your courgettes. There is no real cure for Botrytis, any plant material should be removed and destroyed, and care should be taken to avoid cross contamination. Botrytis is encouraged through wet conditions, particularly where ventilation and overcrowding are a problem. It is important to give your greenhouse and polytunnel a thorough clean between seasons to get rid of any spores hanging around.

You may notice there is no fruit on your courgettes, or the fruit is rotting when it is small - this is usually a temporary problem in early summer caused by the growing conditions preventing adequate pollination. Simply remove the affected fruit to encourage further flowers. You can try to hand-pollinate plants yourself by removing a male flower (no swelling at their base) and brushing the central parts against the centre of a female flower (female flowers have a swelling at the base – this is the beginning of the fruit). But this is a bit of a hassle, and normally the plant will correct this problem itself. Plant bee and butterfly friendly wildflowers in your garden to encourage pollinators to visit your garden.

 

How long do courgettes take to grow?

 

Courgettes grown from seeds can be ready in as little as 8 weeks, between July and early October. Courgettes will stop cropping if they are not harvested regularly, and they grow so fast you should ideally be harvesting every two or three days.

 

When do I harvest courgettes?

 

Harvest courgettes when they are 10cm to 13cm long (4in to 5in). To harvest your courgette, use a pair of scissors or a knife to cut the stalks - try to avoid twisting them off the plant as this can damage the rest of the plant.