Easy to grow and plentiful at harvest time, you can grow courgettes anywhere from pots to borders.
To prepare the soil, enrich it with plenty of well-rotted manure or compost – courgettes are heavy feeders so need lots of organic matter to be successful.
Courgettes love a sunny spot, and can be sown straight into the ground, but you can also start them off in small pots on a windowsill.
If you’re going to start off your seeds on a windowsill, fill small pots with multi-purpose compost, push the seeds in so that they stand up vertically, water, allow to drain, then put them in a warm, sunny place. You can do this from mid-April.
These young plants will be ready to plant out within about four weeks – so from mid-to-late May, or when the risk of frost has passed. Start by hardening them off for about a week by putting them outside during the day in a sheltered spot, bringing them back indoors at night.
Or, you can sow seeds directly into the ground from mid-May to mid-June (when the risk of frost has passed). It’s important to protect very young courgette plants from the cold, so cover them with a horticultural fleece or plastic drinks bottles cut in half.
Once your plants have been hardened off, you can move them to their final positions in the garden. Give them plenty of space – at least 90cm between them, possibly more, depending on the variety.
Ideally, put them in a 20cm wide hole, which has been filled with soil and compost; or, you can use a growbag or patio pot (30cm wide). Whichever method you choose, use a good quality mulch around the base of the plants to help keep weeds down and moisture levels up.
Carefully lift the young plants and plant them just below the level they were at in the compost in their smaller pots. This will help give them extra support for their stem.
Water them thoroughly to help the soil settle around the plants’ roots.
For more on sowing and planting out vegetables, check out our guide.
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