When we have our own home garden we must choose which crops to plant. One of the most demanded and cultivated in home gardens is zucchini. Sowing zucchini can be somewhat complicated if you do not know the guidelines to do it correctly. These are annual herbaceous plants that belong to the cucurbitaceae family like the potato. It is not yet well known whether its origin is from India or America.
In this article we are going to teach you how and when to grow zucchini in your home garden to have the best results.
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Planting zucchini: things to know
These types of plants are thermophilic, that is, they are those that grow better at higher temperatures. The most normal thing is that they can germinate with temperatures above 15 degrees and they do not support frost. To be able to develop in good conditions they need direct sun, good weather and normally higher temperatures. The cultivation is generalized in warmer areas or in greenhouses that are capable of granting them the necessary environmental conditions for their correct development. If the climate in your area has normally high temperatures, you will not have problems when it comes to planting zucchini.
When asked when to sow zucchini, it is best to sow during spring. This is because the temperatures begin to be more pleasant for this plant and its development rate increases. We must also bear in mind that once spring begins there is a lower risk of frost at night. Between the month of April and May is the most indicated. You have to choose a place with maximum solar exposure since it does not withstand low temperatures well and needs a lot of solar radiation.
It usually has a harvest time of about a month and a half, so it has a very fast growth and is not a question when it comes to obtaining crops. To prepare the land for sowing we just have to plow, eliminate weeds and slightly moisten the soil. It grows quite fast because it is a plant that is not at all demanding with the soil conditions to be able to develop quickly. Once it begins to bear fruit, it is totally spectacular since they can grow in just one week.
Let's see what only requirements are necessary to plant zucchini. The first of all that we have mentioned before are the high temperatures and good lighting for its cultivation. They need to be placed in an area with high solar radiation. Therefore, it is recommended to sow during the spring. They require between 10 and 12 hours of light and the optimum temperature for germination is between 20-25 degrees. Below 10 degrees its development is completely paralyzed, as occurs above 40 degrees. When this happens, some imbalances begin to appear in the plants and the development is not the same.
Because it is a plant with a high water content, irrigation must be frequent and regular. Especially when the first fruits appear, more frequent watering is needed. It is essential to avoid waterlogging, since they are harmful and favor the development of diseases. If the soil gets flooded by rainwater or irrigation, it can cause root suffocation. Therefore, we need the soil to have a good drainage. On the contrary, a shortage of water and humidity can lead to dehydration of the tissues. Among the consequences that we can see of a poor humidity supply are poor fertilization and a decrease in production.
As we have mentioned before, one of the advantages of growing zucchini is that it is not at all demanding with the type of soil where it is going to develop. It can be easily adapted to almost all types of substrates. However, it prefers those soils that have a loamy texture, that are deep and well drained. In addition, it is convenient that they have a lot of organic matter since here it is more demanding in terms of nutrient level. The optimal pH for its development is between 5.6 and 7.
Associations and tillage to plant zucchini
There are some plants associated with the cultivation of zucchini that may be recommended. The most favorable are beans, lettuce, chard, corn, tomato, radish and ruca. On the other hand, It is not advisable to grow together with the potato since it is from the same family and can compete for soil, sun and nutrients.
The first thing we must know to start sowing zucchini is to remove weeds and the remains of previous crops. All types of residues must be removed to ensure that the zucchini can receive the maximum amount of adequate nutrients. It is advisable to remove the soil with a rake so that it can be well ventilated. You have to moisten the ground and mix with fertilizers to a depth of 5 centimeters. Put the seeds in the ground and create a mound small piece of soil to introduce between 2-3 seeds. Then cover them lightly.
Zucchini is a plant that requires a lot of space, so it is advisable to keep approximately 50 centimeters between each mound with seeds. The seeds that we have sown to germinate in just a few days. If you have finished more than one seed in each hole, it is advisable to keep the strongest one. Do not pull on the weak plant as you can damage the leaves. Pruning at ground level is enough.
Harvest and maintenance
Zucchini maintenance is relatively easy. It is only necessary to carry out a pruning to eliminate the excessive growth of the bush and favor the production of fruits. Throughout the century of growth, you should remove leaves that are in poor condition to allow better development. Occasionally you will only have to clean a few flowers so that they can trigger their function and not rot easily. It is also recommended to do a fruit cleaning regularly. This cleaning is based on suppressing those fruits that have damage from disease, malformation or excessive growth.
The harvest occurs at about a month and a half and production continues throughout the summer until temperatures begin to drop in autumn. If they are left for a long time, the fruits begin to form seeds and the plant begins to weaken, ceasing to produce more flowers. To know if the fruit is ripe enough, just stick your nail into the skin and if it penetrates easily, it is already ripe.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about how and when to plant zucchini.