Growing Courgettes in a Greenhouse
Courgettes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and typically produce an abundance of fruit in the summer months. They’re ideally suited to being grown in a greenhouse, especially during the early months. Here are some tips for beginners on growing courgettes in a greenhouse.
Why Grow Courgettes?There are a variety of different types of courgette plants available, from green courgettes to yellow courgettes and some that are even designed to climb upwards, rather than grow outwards. If you enjoy trying to grow different vegetables, then courgettes are a good vegetable to start with and it’s a nice idea to try sowing different types of courgette seeds.
If anything, it will give you a personal idea of how the different plants grow in your greenhouse – some may not be so suited to your weather conditions. You also get the chance to taste different varieties of courgettes; you may find that you prefer the taste of one courgette over another, so will know for when you grow them another year.
PropagationCourgette seeds should be sown between March and May. Sow courgette seeds about 1cm deep in well fertilised soil. Pop one single seed into a large pot, approximately 7.5cm in size – the plants should grow well and you don’t want to them to be squashed together. If you’ve bought a packet of seeds, then sew all of them, rather than keeping them over for another year. Some of the seeds may be unsuccessful, so it always helps to have several plants available, and the seeds don’t always keep well for another year.
Don’t forget to label all your pots, so you know which is which, and water them well. Ideally, the pots should then be covered with a propagator lid and left in a warm area for seven days to propagate.
Check on your seeds regularly and, when you see the first signs of growth, such as a small stem and first tiny leaves, you can take the propagation lid off. The pots should be placed in a sunny spot in your greenhouse, so that they have as much light as possible, and you should soon see a good amount of growth.
Moving Young Plants to Bigger PotsTake care of your courgette plants as they grow in your greenhouse. Healthy courgette plants should begin to shoot up rapidly, so you may need to think about moving them into a bigger pot to give them the space they need to flourish. Consider feeding your plants with a liquid fertiliser to boost their strength and vitality and, where needed, stake up the plants so that they don’t droop awkwardly. Ensure you regularly water your young courgettes, but don’t over-water them.
Planting Out CourgettesIf you have a large greenhouse, then courgettes can be kept growing under glass – they will thrive in a warm environment. Or you could move them into larger pots and keep the pots in the greenhouse. Otherwise, once the cold frosts have passed, it’s time to move your courgettes outside for planting.
It’s a good idea to gently acclimatise the plants to their new conditions, by putting them outside for a few hours in their pots before actually planning them into the garden.
Choose a sheltered and sunny position and plant the courgettes into deep holes, so their roots can spread. If you’re planting out several courgettes, then position them about two feet apart, as the plants need a lot of room to spread out. Keep the plants well watered and watch out for any slugs.
Now it’s time to sit back and wait for the arrival of your courgettes!