Courgettes, better known as zucchini (Cucurbita pepo), are a member of the Cucurbita. Just like pumpkins, melons and cucumbers, only similar species cross-pollinate. Native to Central America, zucchini plants are not frost-tolerant — they won’t survive temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but they’ll thrive in temperatures of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing your own zucchini plants can save you money and eliminate any concerns regarding chemicals used on the vegetables you eat. If you lack garden space, or if you don’t have a garden, you can still grow zucchini in grow bags.
Things You’ll Need
3-inch diameter Pots
3 to 5-gallon grow bags
Fill 3-inch diameter pots with seed-starting mix, up to 1/2-inch from the top. Level the soil with your hand so it’s firm in the container.
Sow one seed per pot, at a depth of 1 inch.
Water the soil so it’s moist — not soggy. Stretch plastic wrap over the pots to promote soil moisture retention.
Put a heating mat under the pots to provide them with a constant temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist the soil with a spray bottle to keep it moist during the germination period. Expect the seeds to germinate within six to 15 days. Remove the plastic wrap after germination and place the pots under grow lights. Once the plants have four true leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted. (See References 4)
Place the pots outside for about two hours per day, two weeks before transplanting the seedlings. Gradually extend the time that you leave the plants outdoors, so they can acclimate slowly.
Fill 3 to 5-gallon grow bags with potting soil in a sun-filled area outside. Add water-retaining crystals to the soil reduce the water evaporation rate. The zucchini plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day.
Create a hole with a trowel that’s large enough to hold the seedling. Transplant the seedling at the same level that it was planted in the pot. Plant one seedling per grow bag.
Soak the soil with water once a week, and allow the top soil layer to dry before watering it again. In summer, increase your watering frequency to two to three times per week. Place landscape cloth over the soil around the plants, to promote soil moisture retention.
Apply tomato fertilizer according to packaging instructions, once a week to feed the plants.
Harvest zucchini after 35 to 55 days, when they are about 6 to 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.
Growing Anything: Growing Zucchini: How to Grow Zucchini Organically
The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: A Bountiful Garden
HGTV: Growing Zucchini in a Bag
On the Green Farms: How To Grow Organic Zucchini