Squash contains vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and other useful substances. Its dietary fiber adsorbs toxins, reduces blood cholesterol levels. This vegetable is considered an irreplaceable dietary product. Thanks to the tender flesh, easily digested by the body, it is recommended as the first complementary food for infants. At the same time, zucchini is not so difficult and grow. But there are some tricks that will help to get from each bush a really rich harvest.
Following them, to meet the needs of one average family in zucchini enough to plant 3-4 bushes of plants, from which daily in season to receive 2-3 fruits. Zucchinis are unpretentious, grow well and very quickly, give a large crop until October.
1. Choose yielding seeds
Think about big yields while you are still selecting seeds. Choose varieties and hybrids that have proven themselves to be the most productive. For example, zucchini variety "Gribovsky 37" or self-pollinated hybrids "Ezra F1", "Mostra F1", "Iskander F1".
As a rule, hybrids are more productive, resistant to diseases, much earlier enter the fruit-bearing phase.
2. Grow zucchini through seedlings
The seedling method of growing zucchini helps to get the first crop much earlier. Especially in regions with a temperate climate or in years with a cool prolonged spring. Naturally, the seedling method also increases the size of the total crop taken from one bush.
The zucchini seeds germinate more easily if you soak them in a small amount of water for one hour.
For zucchini sprouts it is better to take a large container, because this vegetable first forms the root system, and then grows green mass.
About 25-30 days after the appearance of the first shoots zucchini sprouts are ready to plant in the ground. No need to feed sprouts, you should only follow the moisture of the soil. During planting zucchini sprouts in the open field the daytime temperature should be about +24 ... +26, at night not below +14 ... +15 degrees. © geekgardener
3. Plant zucchini correctly
Zucchini love organics, so plant them in warm compost beds or in warm holes for a large crop. When planted on a compost pile (because of the fermentation inside), the soil feels as if it is warm. In this case, zucchinis will grow even if the snow has not yet melted around them. In this case, they must be protected by a double shelter-temp with a distance of 30 cm between the covers (creates a thermos effect).
Warm hole is done as follows: a hole is dug by 2 bayonet of a spade and filled with weeds. Ideally - fresh nettles together with dry grass. All this is covered with soil from above, in which the zucchini sprouts are planted. A couple of days before planting seedlings well water the well with undiluted infusion of fermented grass.
Within the zucchini bushes the ground mulch a thin layer of dry grass or weeds. This preserves moisture and protects against weeds.
The seedlings should be planted at a distance of at least 80 cm to give each bush sufficient feeding area, and to be convenient to harvest.
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4. Shaping the bush is an obligatory procedure
The shaping of the zucchini bush is done in dry sunny weather so that all the cuts dry up quickly and no infection gets there. It is desirable to cover the places of cuts with ashes or activated charcoal.
What to cut?
All leaves lying on the ground are removed (so that there is less disease and infection). The leaf stub - do not cut it off! It feeds the ovary.
Not every zucchini flower bears fruit because there are male and female flowers. Female flowers have a thickening where the fruit will be, male flowers do not have this thickening. The first male flowers-blossoms are removed almost completely, so as not to deplete the bush. But later on, not all of the empty blossoms should be removed. Male flowers are needed to pollinate female flowers.
When growing self-pollinated hybrids, male flowers are not needed and they can be removed completely.
In addition, when forming zucchini bushes, partially cut off the largest leaves, leaving only their stem. This is to ensure that they do not shade the ovary and there is good ventilation inside the bush. Removing the largest leaves on the zucchini bush is a good prevention of young ovary rotting.
5. Feed zucchini three times in a season
For a really big crop, zucchini require feeding. Feed zucchini at least three times in a season.
- The 10th day after planting seedlings make a nitrogen dressing. It can be a herbal infusion, diluted with water in the proportion 1:10.
- When the zucchinis begin to bloom , again do the same nitrogen fertilizer.
The herbal infusion is done as follows. Fill a container with grass (good to put there leaves of dandelion, burdock, nettle stems, shepherd's purse, plantain), pour water, cover.
In 7-10 days, when the herbs fermented, dilute the infusion at the rate of 1 liter per 10 liters of water, stir it and pour each bush zucchini.
- In the early fruiting phase well potash fertilizer works. 2 liters of wood or grass ash pour a bucket of water, leave for 24 hours. You can simply scatter ashes under the bush before watering.
All fertilizing must be performed in dry, cloudy weather in order to prevent leaf scorch.
Additional fertilizer for squash (if poor setting or fruit rotting occurs ) based on boron (Boro Miltelial). 5 g of borax per bucket of water, add 40 drops of iodine and 1-2 glasses of milk whey (you can have up to 1 liter). Whey is a lactic acid bacteria that do not allow fungi to develop, which is very good for the immunity of plants. Iodine is a good antiseptic.
6. Water zucchini when necessary
When watering, make sure it is moist under the bush. But don't overdo it and let the top layer of soil dry out slightly between waterings. Depending on weather conditions, it is recommended to water zucchinis no more than 1-2 times a week.
Important: a week and a half before the mass harvest, do not water zucchinis, otherwise they will be badly stored and rot.
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7. Harvesting - the main trick
The first 2-3 young zucchini fruits should be cut after they reach 12-15 cm in length, this stimulates the continuation of fruiting in plants.
Do not leave zucchini on the bush until the ripening stage (when it reaches maximum size and begins to yellow). The bush will waste all its energy on seed formation and this will lead to a drastic reduction in further yields.
The plant sort of gets the signal that the propagation mission is complete, and you will get 1-2 zucchini a week from it, instead of two daily. At the same time, the period of fruiting will also be reduced from 4-5 months to a month and a half.
That is, zucchini should be plucked young (at a length not more than 20 cm), which not only increases the yield, but also allows you to have more tasty fruits.
Fruits should be cut with a sharp knife, not broken out, so as not to damage the plant.
Here are some of the most common problems encountered when growing zucchini, their causes and remedies.
The plant loses fruit before it even begins to grow
Zucchini is a true summer vegetable. If it is quite cold and rainy, the plant begins to lose small fruits more often.
In addition, the reason may be that the female flowers are not fertilized. This fertilization is usually done by bees and bumblebees, but unfortunately there are fewer and fewer of them.
You can help your zucchini by hand pollinating. Pick the male flower and move it along the pistil of the female flower, thus carrying the pollen.
Too many empty flowers, the fruit does not set well, or the ovary rots
The reason is a lack of micronutrients. If your zucchini are growing on a compost pile, they have enough nitrogen and few micronutrients. The above-described boron fertilization quickly solves this problem.
The following solution will help against powdery mildew on zucchinis: 40 drops of green or iodine, or 5 tablets of "Metronidazole" per 10 liters of water. It should be generously watered bushes on the leaf from a watering can.
Great harvest to you!
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