Do you love cooking? That sensation when you are “discovering” something new and exciting, the delight that follows after the meal is ready are just irreplaceable. If you do, you will probably want to know how to grow zucchini, since these are something entirely different.
I know that I have already written an article about how to grow zucchini on a trellis, but that article was meant for people with lack of space. This one is for those who have a garden and don’t have to bother about where to place containers.
What There Is To Know About Zucchini?
You have probably seen zucchinis in your local store or supermarket. They are quite common these days, but still, there are some things which are worth mentioning. Therefore, let me give you a fact or two about these beautiful little guys.
As we can see, zucchinis are not very demanding plants. This is what qualifies them as beginner-friendly, so those who want to grow watermelons, for example, should go with zucchini first, to have substantial experience.
What Will Be Required?
There is one thing which separates true gardener from those who love to plant something from time to time. That thing is whether they have tools or not. Luckily for you, not many things are needed for growing zucchini, but still, let list them all, shall we?
As I said, all the things listed here are bare minimum needed for gardening, so I believe that you won’t have trouble finding them. In the end, soil cover should be bought, to boost the results, but these are not expensive, so not an issue at all.
How Should I Prepare The Soil?
Well-maintained and healthy soil is the foundation of every garden, so in case of zucchini, there aren’t any exceptions. But, don’t worry, preparing the ground is difficult.
Start with choosing a location, as always. Zucchini will need a lot of sunlight, so pick the one where the sun is constant for at least 6 hours per day. There shouldn’t be any shade since it can hold back the development of the fruits.
Next, grab your pH measuring unit, and see what the values of the soil are. If you don’t have it, don’t bother, mostly the numbers are in the range of neutral, and the plants should grow without an issue.
As for manure and organic matter, zucchini will need a lot of it, so don’t spare on this. Add several inches of manure and work it in the soil. Working should be as deep as possible since this will loosen the soil, improve the airflow and make roots stronger.
At this time, you can consider starting seeds indoors. However, although squashes, in general, have long growing period, I would advise you against doing so. Zucchini is not overly fond of moving from trellis to the garden, so let’s go straight to sowing.
How To Plant Zucchini?
With the ground ready and your seeds close at hand, you can go straight to sowing them, right? Wrong! First, there is one step you need to make, to ensure that zucchini will thrive.
For those people living in cold areas, keep in mind that the temperature of the soil should be at least 60ºF, but not only on the surface. Lower 2” should be warm as well. Therefore, use that plastic ground cover I have mentioned. Stretch it across the area where you will plant and then you can proceed with sowing.
Midsummer is usually the best time for planting since you will be sure that the frosts have passed, and that there won’t be any nasty vine borers later. They activate as soon as the soil thaws, so holding back until the middle of May will provide you less of those bugs.
When it comes to spacing, zucchini will spread over time, so plant a couple of seeds 3 feet apart. Don’t worry if it looks ridiculous; they will fill the space later. Now, the depth should be about an inch, so don’t go any deeper. Of course, watering generously right after planting is essential, so add that as well.
How Should I Care About Zucchini? Are There Any Pests?
Caring about zucchini is not difficult either. All you need to look after is watering, which should be added about an inch per week and fertilizing, which should be kept to a minimum. When I say that an inch of water is enough, keep in mind that it should go as deep as possible. Approximately, top 4” of the soil should be wet.
Fertilizer is optional and should be added once the fruits appear. Usual manure tea can be useful for this purpose, since it is not strong, and will water the plant as well.
As for the pests, squash vine borer is quite nasty, so planting the zucchini as I described it should outmaneuver its activating period. Also, cucumber beetles may appear, and those are dealt with by using wood ash sprinkled around the base of the plant.
Powdery mildew and several other kinds of rotting diseases can be avoided by regular watering and caring not to spray liquid over foliage. Don’t think that if the sun is strong, it will dry out fast.
So, we’re at the end of this article. Keep in mind that learning how to grow zucchini is one thing, and actually doing so wholly another. Therefore, the best way to practice your knowledge is to go and plant them in your garden.
If you have some thoughts, opinions or advice, feel free to share it in the comment section below.