Zucchini, a delicious vegetable that is easy to grow in your garden
Zucchini is a vegetable that grows in all our climate zones and only requires two things: sun and water.
Growing zucchini can be started either from seeds from spring to summer, either from young plants purchased in nurseries at the beginning of spring.
Zucchini is one of the easiest seeds to sow and is perfect for beginner gardeners.
Zucchini is an easy plant to grow that will delight your taste buds from summer to fall.
Direct sowing in the ground can start end of April to beginning of May, once all risk of freezing is past.
To sow zucchini directly in the ground, be sure to wait for the last day that freezing can occur for your region before sowing.
- Direct sowing is the method to use for sowing from April until the end of summer.
Use the seed hole sowing technique with a depth of around 1 inch (2 or 3 cm) and a distance of 24 to 32 inches (60 to 80 cm) between seed holes.
- When the plants reach a height of 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm), thin them so that they may develop normally.
- If you choose to sow in pots, transplant them to the bed 4 to 6 weeks later.
This has an added benefit of protecting the young plants from slugs until they are well developed.
A special tip: Zucchini must cross-pollinate between male and female flowers to bear fruits. It helps to have several plants for fruits to develop well and to increase the harvest. Each plant usually bears both male and female flowers.
If your time is short and you forget to sow in the spring, it is possible to plant zucchini from seedlings purchased in nursery pots at the end of spring or the beginning of summer.
- Don’t transplant them to the ground too early, because lack of sun or excess moisture could kill them.
- Keep sufficient spacing for the zucchini to develop well (around 1 square meter per plant).
- Water regularly, especially at the beginning, to speed root development up.
Caring for and growing zucchini
If growing zucchini is very easy, there are nonetheless a few things to watch out for to ensure an abundant harvest.
Caring for zucchinis from planting to harvest means following several practices that will help you produce beautiful fruits.
These practices will help develop the taste of your zucchinis as well as keep diseases at bay.
- Remove weeds as they appear.
- In case of hot temperatures, water without wetting the leaves, or powdery mildew will appear on the zucchini leaves.
- Remove damaged leaves immediately, especially if they show the symptoms of the disease.
It also offers during the summer beautiful edible yellow flowers.
Zucchini fruit grows fast, and you must monitor its growth: if the fruit gets too big, it won’t taste as good as normal-sized fruits.
Soft flesh guarantees a savory taste and easy digestibility.
The larger the fruit, the larger and more numerous the seeds inside become.
Harvesting takes place around 2 months after sowing.
- Choose first those zucchini that are just starting to ripen, because seeds are present in those that are already ripe. The seeds are a bit unpleasant when eating the fruit.
- It is also preferable to harvest them before they get 8 inches (20 cm) long for the long varieties, and 4 inches (10 cm) across for the round varieties.
If they are harvested any larger, they lose their taste.