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Cucurbits in pots anyone?

(4 Posts)
bigboypants Fri 20-May-16 12:44:13

Help please, veg growers!

I have too many of the following for the space I have to put them in but really want to keep them growing.

Courgette - Black Beauty
Courgette - Eight Ball
Spaghetti Squash
Pumpkin - Paintball

I sowed several of each of these, in stages, starting about 8 weeks ago expecting some to fail as that is what has happened before. This year they all seem to be doing well so far and are getting big so I now need to move them on from their small pots. I have about 12? in total. I know it's a lot but I started the squashes and bbs and then the dcs were sent the other seeds from my mum and were excited to plant them.

The problem is, I have nowhere to put them and I know they will need a lot of room. I was wanting to do some raised beds for the garden this year but the money has not been there and will probably not get done until next year now. Other than fill the garden with ugly grow bags, I'm guessing only two plants will go in each? Will they be happy enough in pots, I have several large empty ones hanging around but not sure exactly how big I need for these. The soil here is awful, very heavy clay and, depending on the weather, can one day be totally waterlogged or rock hard and dry the next. So putting them in the ground is not an option. I have slowly been adding compost, not really in any effort to improve it because it needs too much work but more because it was there and not being used.

Anyone successfully grown cucurbits in pots/any other container? Happy to experiment with any old thing I can plant in if anyone has any ideas. grin

JapanNextYear Fri 20-May-16 12:50:10

I've grown courgettes happily in pots - but they were big pots! So big enough to take half of a grow bag full of compost at least. Then just kept feeding them, tbh they were far more succesful than the ones I did put in the ground...

Pumpkins - two options. Really big pots - like a full big grow bag size but you'll be constantly feeding them and watering them.


you could dig a a really big hole and put it full of compost, manure, if you don't have homemade compost then keep veg peelings etc for a a week in a caddy and put that in too, shredded paper (essentially google bean trenches and see what people put in them) and plant the squash in that.

That should help retain water and give the roots something to grow into. I have sympathy with clay soil, I improved mine over the years by adding lots of mulch. Lots and lots of mulch.

shovetheholly Sat 21-May-16 09:42:42

I agree with japan. You don't have to dig over loads and loads of ground to put them in earth. Though they do spread a lot in terms of vegetative growth above ground, the roots actually take up quite a small space. I think the easiest thing to do would be to dig a few holes a couple of spades' width wide and deep, add a load of compost and well-rotted manure and lots of horticultural grit and mix, mix, mix together. Then you will basically have a lovely moist oasis that will act like a mini-bed. Way better than a grow bag for curcurbits, as they will exhaust the nutrients in one of those in minutes!

Pumpkins and squash are much bigger beasts than courgettes and you might need to clear a bit more above ground for them just to keep down competition, but you can do this as the plant grows.

They need sun, so choose the hottest position you have!

Do be aware that courgettes in particular are highly productive! With more than 4 or so you will be overrun! So perhaps think about planting out the strongest only, and giving the others away!

bigboypants Tue 14-Jun-16 23:47:29

Sorry for the late reply, not sure an update is really needed but as you were both so helpful... I cleared a big patch and added compost and grit as you said shove and put in two squashes and two pumpkins. They seem happy enough.

The courgettes, I potted two of the 8 ball and only one of what was actually a black bush (?), I couldn't give anything away as no one I know is interested in looking after them and as they were left the slugs got them anyway. sad

Japan thank you for the bean trench tip, I am definitely doing that for next year. Will start when the squashes are done and keep adding to the trench throughout the winter.

Thanks again!

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