Planting courgettes

by Jane Moore

I love planting courgettes, pumpkins and squashes when the weather warms up.

Image of courgette being watered in after being planted out.It's almost a gardening tradition to plant courgettes and other cucurbits in the first week of June. I love planting courgettes, pumpkins and squashes when the weather warms up. I get a bit twitchy in May as the plants get larger, their leaves broadening and spreading like a dwarf version of Gunnera manicata. But I resist, contenting myself with simply potting the plants on and setting them outside on nice days to harden off.

Now, finally, I can plant them out safely, happy knowing that they won't get caught out by cold winds and chilly nights. Although they're quite small, they'll grow like mad once planted, and will need plenty of room. I usually only put a couple of plants in a 1.2m by 3m bed - any more than that and they start getting out of hand, crawling into the next door bed and all over the path.

If not hardened off properly, cucurbits can suffer a bit of a setback when they're planted out, and will sit obstinately not doing anything for a week or two. But eventually they'll give up hoping to be put back indoors, and will resume steady growth.

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Gardeners' World Web User 05/06/2009 at 13:51

I dug up some carrots in my garden today which I planted in the autum. One was fanged,two were fine - very long and very orange, the other one looks like it had other roots forming and it looks very dry. Is it alright?

Gardeners' World Web User 05/06/2009 at 14:37

I potted on three courgette seedlings, grown from seed, in to a 12" pot, which now sits in the veg-plot. It gets full sun between midday and about 5pm. The result is lots of swelling buds just ready to burst in to flower. UK Chile Head

Gardeners' World Web User 05/06/2009 at 14:50

I've been growing my courgettes on in large pots outside since the beginging of April and now they are in flower and producing fruits - hurray! But, should I now plant them out in the garden or will they grow quite happily in their pots. I am feeding regularly and watering daily with a gallon of water each plant from water butt. What should I do?

Gardeners' World Web User 05/06/2009 at 18:08

I swoed my butternuts and some pumpkins in pots but this year I sowed the courgettes (Tosca - as an opera lover how could I resist?) direct in the soil and covered with a bell cloche. Two seeds and yesterday one sprouted vigorously. One plant gives quite enough courgettes for me, thanks very much!

Gardeners' World Web User 06/06/2009 at 05:46

planted out courgettes in our new allotment yesterday. Trying them on ridges or mounds as have been advised this is best for them - anyone tried this before? though bulking up, flowers not in evidence yet!

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