How to grow... Courgette

Rocket Growing Guides

Courgette

Courgettes are unbelievably easy to grow and require minimal effort. You pop them in the ground and they just get on and do their thing, producing plenty for you to harvest fro late summer to late autumn.

They do take up a little space, so are best grown in raised beds and traditional veg patches where possible. If you do want to grow in pots, we’d recommend Courgette Green Bush which is a slightly more compact variety…it will still need a fairly large pot/planter though, approx 50cm.

  • Growing Advice
  • Common Problems
  • Chef's Corner
Courgette

Full sun and fertile soil

Full sun and plenty of space is important. Courgettes are hungry plants so make sure you dig in plenty of organic fertiliser when you plant them.

Courgette

Best grown in beds

Courgettes are large, sprawling plants. If you have the space then go for a raised bed or a bed in a traditional veg patch. If you are growing in pots/containers, choose a large pot (50cm diameter) and go for the Green Bush Courgette variety which is a little more compact than others. You’ll need to keep pruning it, but should get a good crop.

Courgette

How far apart

80cm apart for Green Bush Courgette, 100cm apart for other varieties.

Protect from cold weather

Do not plant out until all risk of frost has passed. If you are planting out early in the season (April-Early May) it is sensible to protect with horticultural fleece or cloches until night temperatures warm up.

Courgette

Keep them well watered

Courgettes are thirsty plants and need a lot of water. We’d suggest you water them daily during dry spells. Try not to let the soil dry out.

Courgette

Male flowers arrive first

Once the plant starts flowering, it will be with male flowers only for the first week or so. Then the female flowers come in and rely on insect pollination to produce fruit.

Courgette

When to harvest

Courgettes usually start cropping in midsummer. Harvest them before they get too big by cutting them off at the stalk with a knife – they will keep producing more and more for weeks on end!

Powdery Mildew

This fungal white coating on leaves is nothing to be worried about and is very common in all courgettes and squashes. During the early part of the season, leaves should come through nice and green, and towards the end of the season you start to see powdery mildew creep in. If you do have it earlier in the season, remove affected foliage and keep plants well watered to strengthen them.


Blossom End Rot

This is when the end of the courgette that was attached to the flower (the blossom end!) starts to rot. It is usually due to a calcium deficiency that is caused by a lack of water. Once the plant has access to enough water it can successfully draw up calcium from the soil. Keep plants well watered and subsequent fruits should be fine.


Yellow/Discoloured Leaves

Any yellow or brown patches forming on the leaves can usually be attributed to a lack of nutrients. Make sure your courgette plants are getting enough water – the soil should be consistently moist – and use a liquid feed fortnightly once fruits start forming.


Storage Tips

Best eaten freshly picked, but they will store for a few days in the fridge.

Ways to cook

One of the best ways to eat courgettes is freshly harvested, sliced and griddled on the barbecue, with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of chopped chillies and a sprinkle of mint.