Beginners Guide to Growing Courgettes and Summer Squash
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
If there was ever a vegetable plant made for the novice gardener, it has got to be the humble courgette (zucchini). Easy to sow from seed and generally low maintenance they produce an abundance of fruit throughout the growing season making it one of the most productive in the kitchen garden.
This year, I am growing lots of Italian zucchini and summer squash from seeds by Franchi. They stock interesting and unusual varieties that will make your zucchino growing journey anything but boring.
Note: I ordered seeds from their website during the UK covid-19 lockdown and they arrived within the week.
Only plant courgettes and squashes out into their final positions outdoors once the risk of frost has passed (generally from June onwards).
Sow one seed per pot under cover or in the greenhouse in spring. Pot them up into larger pots once you see roots peeking through the bottom and keep repeating this process until it is time to plant them in the ground outside.
Only plant courgettes and squashes out into their final positions outdoors once the risk of frost has passed (generally from June onwards). Unprotected young plants will often not survive low temperatures.
When planting out, remember that both zucchini and squash thrive when given enough space to grow as these are large plants. Generally, the recommended spacing is about 90cm between plants unless you are growing a compact variety. They are prickly too, so best not placed in a spot where you are likely to brush up against them.
At the time of planting out, give your plants a boost with an organic seaweed fertiliser (like Maxicrop) to encourage strong root growth.
Sometimes, slugs or snails attack young plants - even eating away the whole main growing tip of the plant. Unless the damage is severe, plants usually recover.
Once the plants start producing fruits, I find that even without feeding, they are highly productive. The general rule of thumb is to keep picking them small and pick, pick, pick or you'll end up with marrows (and lots of them!).