If you want to learn everything there is to know about growing courgettes, this is the guide you need. A wonderfully versatile vegetable, tender-skinned courgettes make a lovely addition to salads and pasta, or an alternative to pasta if spiralised. In fact, there are all sorts of yummy courgette recipes for you to try, so it's well worth growing courgettes at home.
One thing to know about growing these vegetables is that they do not tolerate cold weather, at all. Their tender flesh and skin require plenty of heat to develop properly, so don't even think about planting these outdoors before June. Follow the steps below for a successful crop.
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How to grow courgettes
1. Sow seeds indoors in April to May, or outdoors in late May to early June. One seed per seedling tray compartment, or 30cm apart if planting in the pot where they are to grow.
2. If growing outdoors, cover with a cloche or plastic bag to aid germination. Remove the cloche approximately two weeks after germination.
3. If you started your courgettes indoors, harden them off by bringing them outside during the day and indoors at night for the first two weeks.
4. Courgettes climb, so provide a cane or trellis to support them.
5. Once the plant begins active growth, water regularly. What you need to ensure is that you're watering the root of the plant, not the leaves or the base: you might find it easier to get water to the root if you plant a small pot into the soil next to the courgette, and water inside the pot.
6. Once the fruits begin to appear, feed every couple of weeks with a high potash liquid fertiliser.
7. Pick the courgettes once they reach about 10cm long; the more often you pick – rather than letting them continue to grow – the more of a crop you'll get.
Tip: Courgette flowers are very tasty in their own right dipped in batter and fried, so you can alternate between harvesting the vegetables and the flowers.
Can you grow courgettes in bags and pots?
Yes, you can grow courgettes in pots, containers or even growing bags. Ideally, they should be upwards of 50cm in diameter – which does mean you could fit two courgettes per average growbag. Ensure the soil in your container/bag is regularly watered to keep the courgettes growing healthily.