Courgettes are an excellent crop to grow in a small city garden. They work well in containers or in soil. After several years of successful planting this year was a disaster after exceptional rain in June and the invasion of Spanish slugs that followed. Spanish slugs love young courgettes.
Courgettes are straightforward to grow in pots. Wait until after the cold weather has passed and then place one or two small plants into a large container with good drainage. Each plant can produce one or two courgettes per week over the growing season (see First Courgettes below).
The extreme wet weather in June occurred just after the plants had produced their first fruit. The dampness caused the flowers to get damp and rot to develop in the fruit. The damp conditions also prevent pollination from occurring. Blossom end rot in courgettes usually sorts itself after the wet conditions have passed.
This year the extreme wet conditions were followed by an invasion of Spanish slugs. Gardeners report finding four times as many of these creatures than in previous years. These slugs are particularly attracted to the immature courgette fruit. Thus when the plants should have been recovering the slugs took over the cropping.
Good gardeners are patient people. For next year the young plants will be kept under protection for longer before planting out to avoid extreme rain. As for the Spanish slug, a whole range of protections will be required, such as elevating containers, creating copper wire barriers, maybe using grit around pots. All suggestions welcome.