Courgette crop sheet

Activity

Courgettes are a popular and prolific school garden crop. They are easy to grow from large seeds. Remember all crops need maintenance throughout the growing season.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Late Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, Maths, Science

Learning objectives

  • Learn that plants are the source of many foods
  • Understand what plants need to grow
  • Practise seed sowing and other horticultural techniques

Preparation

Grow courgettes in well cultivated soil prepared with compost earlier in the season.

Equipment needed

  • Courgette seeds
  • Newspaper or plastic 9cm pots
  • Compost
  • Watering can
  • Trowel for planting

Step by step

Courgette seeds should be sown indoors mid April to the beginning of May. Newspaper pots are ideal for sowing courgette seeds as they grow quickly and can be planted in the ground without disturbing the roots.

  1. Make the newspaper pot according to the instructions above and fill it with compost. Plastic pots can also be used and the instructions for planting are exactly the same.
  2. Make a hole in the middle of the compost about 6cm deep
  3. Put the seed in sideways, so it won't rot, next tap the pot on the bench 3 times so the hole disappears.
  4. Water the seed well and place on a windowsill or in the greenhouse/polytunnel to grow. Remember to keep watering when the compost is dry.
  5. When the plant has at least two true leaves and the danger of frost has passed it can be planted outside in prepared soil.
  6. Bush varieties can be planted 90 cm apart, whilst training varieties need more space; 120-150 cm apart. Dig a hole larger than the pot and plant the paper pot and plant (so all the newspaper is covered by soil). Plants grown in plastic pots will need to be taken out of the pot before planting. Water the plants in well.
  7. Courgettes are hungry plants so use liquid feed or extra compost throughout the growing season. Continue to water when the soil is dry. Pinch out the tips of lateral shoots on trailing plants when they reach 60cm.
  8. Harvest courgettes when they are the size of bananas, otherwise they grow into marrows!

Hints & tips

  • Grow a bush type courgette variety for a more compact plant

  • At the time of planting bury a 1 litre pot next to the stem. This will ensure water gets straight to the roots later in the season

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