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Courgettes - to stake or not to stake


 
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:31 pm    Post subject: Courgettes - to stake or not to stake Reply with quote

OK, I can hear the echo of the laughter when you read this, but I've never seen a courgette plant in real life, and have some seedlings growing away indoors.

They are growing great, and I am holding off even thinking about outdoors as way too cold for them yet. At the moment they are spreading and curling away and I was wondering if I need to stake them up like tomatoes or beans, or are they meant to stay low?

Sorry if this is a ludicrously stupid question, but as it says in my name - 'beginner'! Rolling Eyes
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Redfox
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I secure them with a short pole. They will become quite heavy when the fruit develop. It's more to give them additional support in windy weather. The plant will grow to ~90cm hight, but all the fruit will develop on the lower part of the stem. You might be able to see a tinny courgette growing there... I still have mine in the house too. Its a bit early to plant them out without any cover. I will try some bell cloches and plant a couple of them out and see how it goes this coming weekend. As long as there is no frost and they are protected from the wind they should be fine Smile
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject: curly wurley Reply with quote

Thanks redfox!

I'll be growing them in a polytunnel, so wind shouldn't be a problem. I was more concerned about the leaves and stem going rotten from touching moist earth.

Pic shows how they are going below the level of the pot at the moment.

Would you recommend staking while in the pot of just when planted out?

Let me know how yours get on planted out. I'll probably follow suit with a couple the following weekend. Hopefully the frost will be gone by then....unless we get April snow! Rolling Eyes



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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

courgettes normally trail along the ground and don't need support. if they are grown in a polytunnel they will produce a lot of big leaves and take over a lot of space as much as 20 square feet. Grow them outside after hardening off in a well drained slightly raised bed of rich humus type soil. They are easy to grow but need warm weather for best results.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired).
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

20 square feet???? Wow, that's about the size of the whole tunnel. May have to reconsider them then.

Not sure about growing anything outside the tunnel here - lots of rabbits/hares. Everey flower/plant that's gone into the beds has been gone in 2 hours so presume same would happen to veg Sad
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes 20 sq feet is 4ft X5 ft so set up a protected area outside for your courgettes. pollination is also better outside,.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Michael. Any idea if rabbits like courgettes? Smile that's my big fear around here (middle of nowhere, but high population of rabbits!)
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OffalyGoodLife
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any courgettes we've managed to grow (which, to be fair, isn't many) have tended to sprawl out over the ground from a pot. The pots have been located on gravel to avoid any risk of the courgette plants getting damp and/or rotting. If the courgettes themselves are growing on the ground, then a stone or brick underneath will help support them as they grow, especially if you want to encourage the odd marrow here and there.
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that. I'll have to decide if I can spare the area in the tunnel. If it's there I'll not use gravel, but if it's outside I will give it a try.
I've lost so many flowering plants to rabbits/hares that I am reluctant to grow anythign other than grass outside the tunnel to be honest. But I think space is going to make it a necessity. But it's my first year so I don't mind makign mistakes - best way to learn!
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Redfox
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you keep them in the poly tunnel they will produce more leaves then if they are outside and less fruit. I had no good experience with them growing under cover. They do fine outside as long as they have some shelter.
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, sounds like outside is the way to go. But as I say - rabbits fewasting on my crops/plants is my worry...
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