We now have two sowings of container courgettes planted out. The earlier sowing are doing tremendously well now they have got going, producing one courgette per plant every 2 days on average (depending on the weather of course). Here’s one of our recent harvests!
The plants are doing well in their containers, and we are being careful to tie them up every 4-6 inches to support the stalk as the courgettes are growing as otherwise the courgettes can become too heavy and cause the plant to collapse.
It is interesting to see how the Midnight courgettes are fairing compared to the British Summertime plant. If you remember, the Midnight variety is bred for its compact nature and especially for container growing on the patio. The British Summertime on the other hand is a regular courgette variety. Hopefully you can see from this photo which of the courgettes is which!
Although it proves that regular courgette varieties can be grown in containers too, you can see that the British Summertime plant is much more unruly, and overall will probably produce less courgettes for us in the container than its Midnight counterparts before it runs out of steam as the plant is much wider spread and the space between courgettes up the stem is greater than that of the Midnight plants.
Dad has got some British Summertime and Midnight just getting going in the garden. We’ll post a photo once these have got up their stakes a bit to show what the plants are capable of in the soil.
The Midnight variety never ceases to amaze us in how truly compact it is! Not sure if you can see them all, but there are 5(!) courgettes at different stages of development on this plant alone.
Our view on the key to success with courgettes is water, water, water! Courgettes are almost entirely made up of water, so you can see that it figures that they can only really thrive where they get enough water. This is especially important when growing veg in containers, as the compost can dry out so easily with a short spell of warm or windy weather, and the plants will really suffer without enough water.
We also give them a little liquid feed of a high nitrogen fertiliser every few days (or a general liquid feed, but erring on the side of higher Nitrogen content if possible. Something like MiracleGro which you can get in most garden centres or even the supermarkets at this time of year). Again, as they are in a finite amount of compost in their container, there’s always a risk that the plant will exhaust the food supply or the amount of water we give them leaches the nutrients out of the bottom of the pot! Therefore, we don’t find that a little top up of high nitrogen liquid fertiliser does any harm.
And now on to our second sowing of container courgettes: Sunstripe and another Midnight. These are starting to get themselves established now and will need their supporting stakes soon.