Yellow courgette seedling destroyed

Hi all. After hardening off outside for 2 weeks I finally uncovered my yellow courgette seedling last night. Went to check on it this morning and some @$#&€¥ slug or snail has eaten off ALL of the leaves. I now have a very sad looking 4cm stalk poking out of the ground. Spent the last half hour trying to hunt the culprit in a fit of rage! (failed).

I’ve put the top half of a large fizzy drinks bottle over it in an attempt to protect it a bit but was wondering if anyone knows if it’s likely to survive? Is there anything i can do to save it?

Ah, that is very dispiriting when that happens, Emma. I wonder if you have Spanish slugs? We have them here, huge orange beasts that can devour a whole plant in a night.

Good idea to protect it with a drinks bottle - it might recover, but I fear it is not very likely (don’t give up hope completely, though). Luckily, still lots of time to sow more courgettes - I haven’t started any of mine yet.

BTW I find courgettes easier to grow outside later in the year - they hate cold and wind (admittedly it is a lot colder up here in Newcastle), so I don’t usually put mine outside until early June.

It’s been pretty warm over the past few days and actually boiling hot here on the South Coast today and no frost for 3 weeks now - yay! Spanish slugs sound like complete gits so I hope that’s not the case. I was really looking forward to seeing yellow courgettes…sniff

I’ll have to try again.

Yeah, it’s definitely a lot warmer down south, I’m quite envious! It would be interesting to find out when others in your local area find the premium time for putting out courgettes is. My guess is that it might be easier to start them outside a bit later… Of course every year is also different… and earlier sowings, if successful, do also mean earlier courgettes!

@granniev and others living further south - when do you plant out your courgettes?

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I always grow my courgettes in large containers.Currently I am away and have left them indoors on very wet capillary matting,hoping the hot weather treats them kindly!
I surround the seedlings with either coffee grounds or egg shells or a mixture of both and don’t put them outside until at least mid May.There is plenty of time to sow another set.

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Hi Mark, I have put my petty pans, round courgette and butternut squash during the day outside and at night back in the greenhouse. It was getting too hot for them in the greenhouse and they were outgrowing their pot. In total 6 plants I will have to keep bringing in at night for another 3 weeks. The rest of my courgettes and squashes are still slowly growing in the greenhouse in small pots. Eveline

Oooh coffee grounds - best get the other half drinking tons then (I don’t like hot drinks but he does)! Thanks for the tip.

Well. Coffee grounds had no effect. Now I just have energetic slugs! I’ve tried some sheep wool pellets and so far so good - I may have used too many, my little concrete garden smells like a farmyard!