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Courgettes 2021

bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
I couldn't find anything up-to-date, so started this one.  Please shout if a courgette discussion is on-going.


  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    edited August 2021
    I have grown courgettes before, always "Zucchini".

    My present garden, is long and thin so veg can't be hidden.  Also too many birds so I would need an ugly cage.

    I several years ago I tried growing them on a compost heap, but not enough sun.

    This year started in lockdown, I am trying again in large pots of mainly one-year old garden compost on my terrace.  My source of information is an old Vegetable Growers Handbook (brown pages) which only covers marrows (interesting social history).

    The book says, fertilise with male flowers from another plant.  Is this necessary? Each of my 4 plants seem to be out of phase and makes this difficult.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,223
    edited August 2021
    Lots of info here

    I  have never needed to help my courgettes reproduce ... the insects do it for me.  I always grow three courgette plants ... last year we grew Zucchini ... this year it's Green Bush ... plenty for the two of us with enough for chutneys etc too.  We're picking almost every day at the moment ... a big pot of minestrone for this week's lunches is on the hob as I type.  

    I would add that courgettes are very greedy feeders ... compost on it's own will not be enough ... I would use a proprietary tomato feed in the water every 10 days as soon as flowering has started.  And of course, they're very thirsty too.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,472
    I grow yellow varieties, much easier to spot ripe fruits and avoid ending up with marrows. 3 plants gives us a steady stream of fruits, enough for the two of us with any surplus getting pickled with cucumbers and gherkins.
  • Like @Dovefromabove I've never encountered any difficulty with pollination.  I've been growing the yellow jobs  ( Gold Rush ? ) since the seeds first appeared about 20 years ago.  Usually 2 plants to a dustbin or similar sized container and I use a mixture of my own compost mixed with MPC - always outside and mainly south or west facing.
    Must admit altho I've had plenty so far, the harvest has been less than previous years.  The rubbish weather hasn't helped :)
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,030
    Ours are in a bed with the winter squashes that was given a good layer of horse muck and our own garden compost before planting out.   I planted 2 yellow courgettes - for visibility - and there are butternut and spaghetti squash plus a couple of uchiki kuri and a blue one.

    I have a seep hose along the bed for easy watering.   One of the courgette plants is doing well but the other was shaded out a bit by a rampant butternut and has failed.  Nevertheless we have enough for the 3 of us to keep us in soups, gratins, roasted Med veggies, and even a courgette and cheese soda bread.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    edited August 2021
    Dove,  I clicked your link. Thank you. That is a sign of my trust in you, I don't normally click on links from unknown sources.  I had previously read this article in my google search.  I came to this forum because that didn't answer my question about fertilising.

    My Arthur Simons, Penguin Books, "Vegetable Growers Handbook" with aged brown pages, is dated 1962, and is still a good source of information, although the internet is the place to go to today. (There is new colourful update.)

    The book says, fertilise with a male flower from another plant.  I was taught how to do a rather suggestive procedure with respective stamens and stigma.  Perhaps it's not necessary.  So less worries, but less fun!  Leave it to the bees. (That is another problem: how to rescue beees from a greenhouse.)

    I now have 3 pots of courgettes outside and one, etiolated and climbing inside.  This latter is cropping but is the main producer of male flowers.

    "Zucchini" was around in 1962.  

    I am watering regularly, but my book specifically says don't use fertiliser as that will lead to leaves not flowers.  Obviously they were thinking Nitrogen, not Potassium.  I didn't mention that my garden compost had a little blood & bone fertilser stirred in.
    So far my plants are growing and cropping well.  But I will now use a little tomato food.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
    edited August 2021
    My courgette pots are only ±50cm top diameter. Would another variety be more suitable for this way of growing?

    They look quite decorative on my terrace, between agapanthus and hostas.  But you have to be careful walking round them, their stems are rather brittle..

    And thank you all for the recipes (minestrone, a good idea; and I will try them in a yeasted loaf) they really are growing faster than 2 of us can eat.  I have plans to include them in a Jalfrezi, and perhaps to replace okra in a bhaji.
  • Three plants seem to be the magic number. 2 of mine are doing well but the other has the mosaic virus. The squash is elbowing in so more space needed next year.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,223
    @bede ... Zucchini ... as its name suggests, is an Italian variety ... great for a Mediterranean climate with a longer growing season ... as I said, I have grown it several times, and in a good summer such as 2017 it produced very well ... however I have found that in most years it is better to grow one of the newer varieties, developed for the UK grower to need a shorter growing season, so that they can be planted out after the last frosts and develop to the fruiting stage quickly.  

    Gold Rush is a very good variety, and is more compact than Zucchini so better suited to container growing.

    This year I was unable to get Gold Rush seeds so am growing  All Green Bush, another more compact variety developed for the UK climate and very suitable for container growing

    I was ten years old in 1962 ... I doubt if one person in a hundred in the UK had ever cooked or eaten a courgette back then, let alone grown them ... gardening, plant development and the climate have moved on ... 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 2,149
    Hi - I was 9 @Dovefromabove and the courgettes we were eating then, were marrows with white sauce!! Yuk yuk yuk!
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

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