Early cropping container courgettes

We would usually sow our courgettes around the third week in April. This means that by the time they are ready to plant out, the chance of a frost is reduced where we live, therefore giving them the best start to their growing lives.

Given the lockdown we’re currently under, we thought we’d sow a couple of plants a bit early given we’ll have some more time at home to look after them, and Dad has given up some space in his polytunnel for me to get them going in ūüôā

These were sown a couple of weeks ago, and were planted out last weekend. We’re growing three Midnight¬†and one¬†British Summertime. They were pricked out from their initial seedlings into these 3 inch pots, and have been growing on in a cold greenhouse since then.

Midnight¬†is a variety especially bred to be grown in containers. It has a much stockier plant than most courgette varieties, which means it’s ideal for growing vertically.¬†British Summertime¬†on the other hand is not specifically designed to grow in containers, but we had some success growing it vertically up a stake in the garden last year. As they taste so nice, we therefore thought we’d give one a try.

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Like we have in previous years with our container courgettes, we have planted these out into 30 litre tubs. A little garden soil is put into the bottom to act as an anchor and protect them from the wind once they get outside. The tubs were then topped up with multipurpose compost – an 80 litre bag did these 4 tubs.

We then gave them a thorough watering to dampen the compost and then planted the courgette plants, making a hole slightly bigger than the pot and then firming the compost back around the plant once in situ.

You can see that the plants had quite a good root system on them before we planted them into bigger pots. You should always try and make sure that this is the case where possible, as otherwise the plants can be a bit overwhelmed when they’re potted on. This leads to them focussing all their energy on producing more roots to fill the bigger pot, and none of growing the plant that you actually want to eat! It happens the other way round for root crops, give them too much of a good thing early on, and they will make lots of leaf growth, but they’ll be nothing to show for it underneath!

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And here’s the end result! We will just keep the compost moist around these now and wait for them to grow. Once they get a few more leaves, we will need to make sure they have a stake to grow up to support the courgettes.

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