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Courgettes and shade

I have a circular 1 metre diameter plot in a shared garden where I'm growing veg.

My most ambitious project is a dwarf courgette, which I researched quite thoroughly and it is possible to fit it in alongside my other veg both as it is much smaller than other courgettes (recommended spacing 45 cm) and can be made to take up less ground space by training it vertically.

I ordered it as a plug plant (Buckingham F1) and it's just arrived!

My problem is a dilemma over where to put it. My plot is in a London garden so there are trees and houses that limit the light. I should think my plot gets a good bit of sun at certain times in the afternoon but it is tucked under some trees by a wall meaning that this will often be dappled, and that most of the light reaching it will be around 11-4 (coming from the east or fairly straight down). So it's not totally shaded out at all but it's certainly a shady part of the garden.

My other veg are all fairly shade-tolerant (carrots, radish, beetroot, beans, lettuce) and all doing pretty well.

Originally I planned to put the courgette at the back so that its leaves didn't block light from the other veg. However I'm now worrying it will struggle if I do this.

My other option is to put it towards the front (imagining my plot as a clock face, if the back is 12 o'clock, I've got space at 5 o'clock).

So I guess my question is - what would happen if I put it at the back, where it is really pretty shady? Would it still produce fruit? A reduction in output isn't a disaster but a failure to do anything at all would be a shame.

If I put it at the front it would access more sun, but would this cause huge problems smaller things like carrots and radishes?

Thanks for any advice!



  • endpaperendpaper Posts: 27

    In case it helps, here's what Buckingham courgettes look like:


    and here are some full size, non-dwarf courgettes being trained vertically:


    (This one above is being contained in 1 square foot)


    Last edited: 30 June 2016 16:53:38

  • We have grown courgettes for about 35 years, but never in full shade - I would imagine that the cropping would be low, with stunted sized courgettes - prove me wrong if you can endpaper! I always suggest that people grow them in full sun with plenty of watering and feeding. Good luck.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,874

    Our veg patch used to be shaded to the south east by a tree. Courgettes really struggled. They need as much light as you can give them in the UK where the intensity of light is low anyway compared with some places. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    I'm growing courgettes for the first time and have a small garden so have chosen to use pots like your first photo.

    They travel around the garden to wherever is the sunniest/most convenient/sheltered spot when it suits (they got a bit battered with the heavy downpours)

    The pots probably aren't big enough but here's a photo I took earlier this week.


    Another chuck it in a pot and see how it goes endpaper, but it worked image image

  • endpaperendpaper Posts: 27

    Thanks all! (And Kitty that courgette is so shiny - what variety is it?)

    It's sounding like the consensus is that my courgette would be significantly happier at the front and struggle at the back.

    But will my other veg cope with that?

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    It's called "Atena" endpaper.

    I didn't choose it, the seeds were in a 'Funky Veg Kit' I received as a Christmas gift from my daughters boyfriend.

    As I don't have a veg patch everything's growing in pots dotted about the garden, even the "purple haze" carrots. image

  • endpaperendpaper Posts: 27

    I've got some purple haze too!

    I wish I had freedom to move things around - that would certainly solve things. One of our neighbours has a separate bit of garden fenced off just for her but since no one used our bit she had basically colonised it and when we met her she took a somewhat two-faced approach (saying it was fine by her for us to put the veg bag in our part of the garden - then secretly contacting our landlady to complain). I was annoyed by this but also sympathetic that if she's tended to the whole garden (even if it didn't belong to her) for years, we don't have any desire to do things she wouldn't like. So although technically it would be within our rights to use more space, we've reassured her it's just this one little grow bag and put it in a space she's not using.

  • chris 172chris 172 Posts: 403

    Hi all

    I plant all my courgettes in as much sun as they can take as they will thrive under the best conditions given if well looked after and fed well, i use comfrey tea twice a week and is better used outdoors than in as it stinks.

    I am based in the North East so they were planted in the ground early June and i am now a few days from my first harvest which when all the plants start giving off will keep me in a great supply up to the end of September

    Good luck to all growing happy gardeningimageimageimageimage

  • michael mpcmichael mpc Posts: 422

      hi   just checked courgettes  this morn 2 plants  looks like we will have some meal this week with  fruit 3 nice c/gettes ready   (on a other note the string and plastic strips are working on blue berrys no  more lost fruit image

  • That's a well tended allotment Chris, your courgetttes look good and almost ready to pick - are you the guy that grows the beetroot in abundance too?

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