Early container courgette update

The 4 plants we started off in the polytunnel and moved outside last weekend are loving life so far! It’s amazing how much they’ve grown in just 7 days.

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They’ve grown so much in fact, that we’ve had to tie them up this week. We tie the plants up to the stake every 4-6″ to support them and prevent them snapping off. It’s surprising how heavy a plant laden with courgettes can get!

All we do is take a piece of garden twine around the plant, and then tying this behind the stake. Where possible, it’s best to do this as a two-man (or woman!) job. One ties up the string whilst the other gently pushes the courgette stalk towards the stake. Otherwise, again from experience, the stem can snap, which is a real shame! The aim is to guide the courgette plant towards the stake so it grows vertically, but not to force it too much so that it snaps.

When choosing a good spot to tie the plant, we try and do this under two leaf axles, rather than where the plant is throwing out a courgette/male flower. The reason for this is that if the string cuts into one of the leaves slightly, our crop shouldn’t be impacted. However, if the string pulls in too tight and beheads a courgette, that’s a courgette we won’t get to eat (assuming it’s too small to eat at the time this happens!)

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It’s amazing how many courgettes one of these plants can support. This one has 4 courgettes all growing at the same time, and managing absolutely fine! We also love how compact the Midnight variety has been bred to be, making it ideal for containers. You definitely get your courgette’s worth!

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The key thing with these plants now is making sure they get enough water. Courgettes love water! However, growing in containers always makes it a bit harder, as the plant only has so much compost that it can get its water from. Therefore, regular watering (we do this daily, twice daily when the plants get big and it’s hot weather!) is really important. The only other thing you really have to do with these now is make sure you regularly tie them up to the stake to support them.

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