With a unique climbing habit Courgette 'Black Forest' makes a great space saving variety for growing in containers on the patio. The long stems will need tying onto a trellis or netting to gently train them upwards. Courgette Black Forest will produce heavy yields of dark green, smooth, cylindrical 15cm (6") courgettes if picked regularly throughout the summer. Height: 120cm (48"). Spread: 60cm (24").
Companion planting: Try growing courgettes with Calendula to attract pollinating insects which will in turn pollinate your courgette flowers.
Sow courgette seed indoors from April to May for transplanting later on, or direct sow outdoors from late May to June. Prepare the soil in early spring by adding plenty of well rotted farmyard manure to improve its structure and fertility.
Indoors, sow seed at a depth of 2cm (¾") in 7.5cm (3") pots of free-draining, seed sowing compost. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 20-25C (68-77F) until germination which takes 5-7 days. Do not exclude light, as this helps germination. Once germinated, grow courgettes on in cooler conditions until all risk of frost has passed and courgette plants are large enough to be transplanted. Gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting courgettes outdoors in rich fertile, well drained soil in full sun at a distance of 90cm (36") apart. Cover with a protective netting or fleece to prevent attack from birds and insects. When growing courgettes, a thick mulch of organic matter spread around the plants will help to conserve moisture at the roots.
Alternatively direct sow courgettes outdoors at a depth of 2cm (¾") and a distance of 90cm (36") apart. Sow 2 seeds per hole and thin out the weakest seedling per station after germination.
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