HOW TO GROW ZUCCHINI IN POTS

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If you are looking to obtain a regular crop of fresh zucchini, but do not have the appropriate garden space, then growing zucchini in pots may well be the answer you are looking for. So long as you have a spot of ground that receives direct sunlight for a good proportion of the day then it doesn't matter if your garden is a balcony, concreted over, or the pavement outside your property. Just be aware that one courgette plant will spread out to approximately 1 square metre.

To begin with you need a suitable container and when it comes to growing zucchini - the bigger the better. For zucchini you would need one plant in a container approximately 45cm wide and with a volume of about 25 litres. Of course if you need to move the container around at some point then either choose one which can still be carried once full of damp compost or place the container on a set of wheels before planting.

Fill the bottom third of the pot with well-rotted garden of farm manure then top up the rest of the pot with a good quality soil-based compost such as John Innes 'No.3'.

You can obtain zucchini plants by either growing it from seed yourself or by obtaining a seedling purchased from a plant retailer or gardening friend. Plant a zucchini seedling into the centre of the pot once the threat of late frosts have passed and water in. Keep the soil damp, but not waterlogged and feed with a high potash, liquid soluble fertilizer such as a tomato feed every 10-14 days once the first fruits start to swell.

Zucchini will be ready for harvesting once the fruits reach approximately 10-13 cm long. Under favourable conditions you should expect one plant to produce 3-4 zucchinis each week during the cropping season.

Powdery mildew

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Zucchini are fairly straightforward crop although they are often prone to fungal attack from powdery mildew which will reduce cropping. Powdery mildew thrives in warm, humid conditions but luckily there are a number of cultural methods with can be employed to reduce this. Powdery mildew is identified by a covering of white dust on the leaves.

1. Always try to grow zucchini in a well ventilated position

2. Place a dry mulch on the surface of the compost such as gravel or bark chips as this will maintain moisture levels within the compost, reduce weeds and reduce humidity around the plant.

3. Always water directly into the pot and avoid wetting the leaves. Also consider sinking a 15 cm pot alongside the seeding when planting out. Water directly into the pot which will help ensure that water goes right down to the roots and doesn't sit around the neck of the plant, which can lead to rotting.

4. If all else fails you can control powdery mildew with copper-based or sulphur-based fungicides.

For related articles click onto the following links:
BUY GOLDEN COURGETTE SEED - Courgette 'Goldmine'
HOW TO CONTROL POWDERY MILDEW ON COURGETTES
HOW TO GROW TOMATOES IN POTS
HOW TO GROW ZUCCHINI IN POTS

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