We decided to try our hands on growing courgettes. The answer to growing courgettes on a balcony, or in any other space limiting location is to grow a climbing courgette variety, such as Tromboncino. It will need a large, deep pot, but it will not take away ground space, due to climbing.
And by golly, on our balcony, the Tromboncino plant grew upto 10m long. The beautiful yellow flowers made it quite a spectacular plant to look at too.
When it came to actual courgettes, I think we did not provide quite enough water and there weren’t enough pollinators on our balcony. This we are now trying to solve by planting more flowering plants, to attract the bees 🙂
In the end, when the weather cooled down a bit (not between 30-40 degrees C anymore) and enough watering was easier, we did obtain one rather majestic looking courgette, at over 60cm in length. This was partly also thanks to my hand pollination: taking off a male flower and rubbing it on a female flower.
Instructions for sowing Tromboncino seeds
- Sow 2-3 seeds per 4-5cm biodegradable pot. If you soak the seeds over night first, they will germinate more quickly.
- Mist the pots with water and cover with cling film to help create a humid environment. Then place the pots in a warm place and keep moist.
- Once the seedlings have germinate, thin them out by splitting into several pots, or remove weaker looking seedlings.
- Water the seedlings from the bottom, rather than the top, to promote root growth.
- Once the roost start appearing at the bottom of the pot, transplant into bigger pots. For this, make sure to place some pebbles at the bottom of each new pot, to facilitate good drainage. Then place the biodegradable pots in and cover with soil.
- Keep the seedlings inside until there is no risk of frost outside. Then they are safe to plant out.
- Once the plants have grown a little, they will need support. Ideally a spiral pole which the plants can wind themselves around. Once the plants start climbing higher you can put some hooks into the balcony roof and hook the growing plant up.
In summary, from our experience, this can be a perfect balcony plant, with a little bit more optimization on the watering and pollination front.
In terms of pests, the thighs to look out for are powdery midlew and green flies. Powdery mildew can not really be got rid of easily, but green flies can be kept at bay by spraying leaves with water mixed with a little dish washing liquid. When you see green flies, repeat the spraying every day until you notice the green flies are gone.