In short, yes you can grow courgettes and winter squash in pots and containers, and here are a few tips:
- Choose big pots – these are thirsty plants and they need plenty of space for their roots. A 45-50cm wide pot (or 10 litre volume) is a good starting place for a courgette plant or bush winter squash variety, with just one plant per pot. Trailing/climbing winter squash plants will need slightly bigger again. If you’re using a grow bag, only two courgette plants per bag, or a single pumpkin/winter squash plant
- Provide trailing winter squashes with a trellis – they will naturally climb if there is some support. Put the pot in front of a sturdy fence, trellis or even an archway that the plant can climb. (The alternative is to let them sprawl along the ground, but this may not work in your garden). Courgettes and bush squash varieties don’t need support.
- Plant in compost with wormcast fertiliser – use a good quality multipurpose compost, and sprinkle in a handful of wormcast fertiliser to help increase the nutrient levels.
- Water plants regularly – plants in pots will need more frequent watering. Standing the pots in a container of water so that they can draw up moisture from the base is a good option. During hot dry spells, you may need to water daily.
- Feed plants a liquid feed – once the female flowers come in (you’ll see small fruits at the base of the flower) it’s a good idea to use a liquid feed fortnightly (you can buy a liquid feed or make a wormcast tea) to give the plants a boost. They will use the nutrients in the compost fairly quickly, so this helps to nourish them.