How To Grow Courgettes

Courgettes are really easy to grow and you get so many from just a couple of plants! When planted in the ground they can spread out and take up to a square meter but they do really well in containers so they are perfect for smaller gardens as well.

The vegetable of many names courgettes are a member of the cucurbit family and are commonly known as zucchinis across the pond. But both courgettes and zucchinis are actually marrows harvested early while they are still long and straight(ish). 

And don’t think that you’ll have to stick with green, courgettes also come in yellow and even stripey varieties of different sizes and shapes. You can even eat the flowers which are delicious fried. Although they are similar to grow to marrows and squashes I think they deserve their own guide as the timings and varieties are different.

Quick Guide


Very Hardy
Part Sun
Water Very Well

Plant in patches 3ft apart 



There are hundreds of different courgette varieties. As they are marrows picked early you could leave your courgettes on the plant and they would continue to grow however most of the best varieties of courgettes are the “bush” type of plant which don’t work that well for marrows as they are better on the “trailing” plants.

So here is some suggestions of quick and easy “bush” plants that are perfect for courgettes. 

Sure thing

This hybrid is brilliantly hardy and compact making it ideal for the smallest of gardens. It is also self pollinating so you will be ok even if you only have room for one or two plants.

black beauty

Dark green shiny courgettes are produced across a super long harvesting period (July to August) if you start picking as soon as they are ready you could get up to 30 courgettes from one plant!


This courgette has an open growth which makes for easy picking. Oh, and it’s bright yellow!

Tiger Hybrid

Tiger hybrids are one of the most popular stripy courgettes and will be an eye catching addition to your garden.


You can either start your courgettes off early indoors or sow the seeds directly into the ground. If sowing outside mix in some well rotted manure into the soil about two weeks before sowing. Digging “planting pockets” underneath where you plan to place your courgettes will help ensure that your courgettes are healthy and produce loads of veg! To do this dig holes a spade depth and width about 3ft apart. You then fill these holes with compost and put a little fine soil on the top where you will plant you seeds or young plants. The compost directly underneath your plants will provide nutrients throughout the growing period.



  • Sow indoors from April.
  • Sow outdoors from May or plant up outside from June.
  • Begin harvesting about nine weeks after sowing.


  • Courgettes do well in half sun
  • Well rotted manure for soil texture and nutrients
  • Using planting patches for ground plants will really help ensure a good harvest! 
  • If growing in containers use one per plant and good quality potting mix

companion planting

As courgettes are a favourite snack of many bugs such as aphids, cucumber beetles and squash bugs to name a few. You can help protect them by companion planting plants such as radishes around them. As they are small radishes can easily be planted around your courgettes and will help repel those pesky bugs. You can harvest them but try and let a few flower and go to seed as that is when their bug repelling qualities are at their best. Garlic is another great companion plant for pest control. 

Courgettes are hungry plants and incorporating beans or legumes as companion plants will help fix nitrogen and work on improving the soil quality. As part of the ancient “three sisters” companion planting method where squash, beans and corn are grown together these plants all compliment each other and you can try your own variation of the method in any garden. To help with pollination for varieties that require insect pollination planting herbs like borage and flowers such as marigolds (really the companion planters best friend) will help encourage bees and ensure a good pollination.

Potatoes are pretty much the only plant that will cause problems for your courgettes. They are both large hungry plants and will compete with each other reducing the yield on both if grown too close. If you plan on saving seeds for next year and don’t want hybrids only plant one variety of insect pollinating courgettes unless you have room to leave at least 10ft distance between plants. 


  • Water well throughout the growing period, it can be useful to sink a small pot into the soil next to the base of your plant and fill this with water. This will ensure your plants roots get the water rather than it sitting around the base of the plant which can lead to rot.
  • If you have started your courgettes inside, harden them off for a week by placing them outside during the day before planting up.
  • Apart from tidying up or harvesting very little pruning is needed


Courgettes are easy to harvest. Once they have reached about 10cm in length use a sharp clean knife to cut the stem from the plant. Harvesting as soon as they are ready will keep your plants more productive. 

Each variety will have a size and shape described on the packet detailing when they are good to harvest.


Once harvested courgettes will last a few days in the fridge. You can also freeze them (probably a good idea to chop them first to make it easier) and defrost as you need for cooking.


If you follow the steps and tips above you should have loads of lovely courgettes in no time!

If you want to learn more about courgettes and how you can cook them check out the articles below

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our article and that it has inspired you to turn your green hands to a new challenge.

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