Courgette crop sheet

Information sheet

These are our top tips on how to grow courgettes. They are easy to grow from seed and each plant can produce many courgettes in a growing season.

  • School term: Late Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science

Sowing

When: April to May

  1. Fill individual pots with compost and make a hole in the middle of the compost about 6cm deep (newspaper pots are perfect for this).
  2. Place the seed in the hole on its side so the pointy end is facing either left or right and the seed looks its thinnest when you look at it from above. This will help to prevent the seed from rotting.
  3. Tap the pot on the bench 3 times so that the hole in the compost disappears.
  4. Water well and place on a windowsill or in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Keep watering when the compost is dry.

Growing

  • Once the seedlings have developed their true leaves and the danger of frost has passed for where you are, they can be planted outside in prepared soil. If you have grown the seeds in newspaper pots, these can be placed directly in the soil without needing to remove the plants from them.
  • Bush varieties should be planted about 90cm apart, whilst trailing varieties need more space so should be planted around 120 to 150cm apart.
  • Water regularly and use liquid feed or extra compost throughout the growing season.
  • For trailling plants, pinch out the tips of shoots that grow out from the plant when they reach 60cm.

Harvesting

When: 9 weeks after sowing onwards

  • You should generally harvest courgettes when they 10 to 12.5cm long, or about the size of a banana. The best size for harvest can vary between varieties.
  • Generally, courgettes harvested when they are small taste better as well as ensuring a longer cropping period for the plant.
  • When harvesting, use scissors or a knife and cut at the base of the courgette stalk.
  • Check around the plant and under all of the leaves so you don't miss any, otherwise you may return to a massive marrow.

Using

  • Courgettes are such easy plants to grow that they are perfect if you are planning to host a Soup Share.
  • Larger varieties of courgettes and marrows can be stuffed with different fillings.
  • You can also eat courgette flowers. They're quite delicate, so either cook them gently or eat them raw.

Varieties to try

  • 'Black Beauty' - large crops of dark green fruits
  • 'Soleil' - produces fruits with bright, yellow skins
  • 'Tondo di Piacenza' - spherical, dark green fruits

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