Adventures in the Garden: Courgettes

I've been growing courgettes for years, both in the ground and in pots. I've always grown them from seed, usually starting them off in my trusty plastic greenhouse to give them a head start. I always plant more seeds than I actually need because every year one of the seeds doesn't make it. My Dad taught me to do that. Glad I listened because it never changes. Out of my six seeds, four made it.

This year I was hoping to pop the courgette seedlings in our new veggie plot but what with one thing and another, the plot wasn't ready in time, so I simply potted them up in some HUGE pots. I put two plants per pot.

As you can see, they've been producing some great courgettes but not quite as many as last year. Realise I shouldn't have put two courgette plants per pot. The plants aren't as big as normal (they can be gigantic if you give them ample space, e.g. in a veggie plot) because they're competing for nutrients and space, so the result: less courgettes.

 Seeing as it's just the two of us that's ok but next year I'm going to dedicate one of my veggie plots to courgettes because I want an ambudance to try out numeous recipes with. The year I grew them in the ground, they produced 3-4 a week atleast! That year I made pretty much every courgette recipe going in the Sarah Raven Garden Cookbook (my favourite recipe book).

One thing that hasn't happened as much this year is powdery mildew on the courgette leaves, which is surprising as warmer weather can be one of the causes of this. 

So, my three courgette lessons learnt this year: 

- give them ample space
- if growing in pots, restrict to one plant per pot...and make that pot a whopper!

Have you been growing any veggies this year? Have you learnt any tips and tricks? What is it you love about gardening? I'd love to hear!