Most zucchini plants require a bit of garden space due to their tall spreading stems and overly large leaves. Gardeners with small spaces and patio or rooftop gardens can enjoy this popular summer vegetable with Zucchini 'Black Forest' F1 Hybrid. This is not a miniature plant, however, unlike most zucchini plants, it doesn’t bush out at the base, so it can easily be contained in a large pot (at least 24") and trained up a stake or trellis. ‘Black Forest’ actually does better in containers than in the garden, because it favors a very rich, well-drained soil which is better controlled in a container.
The vines produce medium-sized zucchini, about 6 inches (15 cm) in length, with flavor comparable to normal bush zucchini. ‘Black Forest’ can begin producing earlier than garden zucchini, because the seeds can be started indoors, 3-4 weeks before the last frost date. Since they are being grown in a pot, there’s no problem with transplanting. Sowing in April or early May should have you harvesting in July.
- Sow seeds about 3/4 inch deep (19mm), either directly in the container where they will grow or in 3-inch pots for transplanting.
- Water well and keep the soil moist, but not wet.
- Keep pots at about 68-77 degrees F (20-25 C) until germination, which should be in about 5 - 9 days.
- If you’ve started the seeds in small pots, transplant to their final container when they develop their first set of true leaves.
- Gradually harden off the seedlings before leaving them outdoors.
- Thin plants to 24". There will probably be 1-2 plants per container.
- Place container where it will be in full sun and water regularly, whenever the soil feels dry.
- Feed with any fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. Plants growing in containers need full strength, regular feedings because watering can flush nutrients out of the pot.
As with any zucchini, the more you pick, the more zucchini the plants will produce. Like many specialty type vegetables, you may have to look beyond your usual garden catalogs for seed. Some specialty garden nurseries may even offer the plants for sale. Also look for Black Forest Courgette. Courgette is the British name for zucchini and the plants are one and the same.