Zucchini is part of the squash and pumpkin family. It is a very abundant producer and you will probably need no more than two or three plants in your garden. It does not keep well, so it is best enjoyed during the summer months.
Zucchini is probably one of the more talked about vegetables due to its ability to cross breed with pumpkin and squash. These mutations are used in the late summer and early fall as decorations. Seeds from these curious cross breeds can be saved and planted next year.
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- You should not set your zucchini plants in the garden until the temperature in your area is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Zucchini should be planted in a mound. You should prepare your garden soil so that it is approximately two feet in diameter. You can add well-rotted manure to the soil prior to building up the mound.
- Have at least three feet between each mound that you will be using for this vine crop. This will allow room for the zucchini vines to run.
- Plant no more than four or five zucchini plants per mound. Space the plants six inches apart.
- Water the mounds deeply at least once a week. You should try to avoid wetting the plant's leaves as this will encourage disease.
- Once the plants have taken off, you should thin out the weak plants and leave no more than two plants per mound.
- You can cultivate the soil around your zucchini plants to keep weeds at bay. Stakes allow your zucchini to grow off of the ground, and when your plants are tall enough, they should provide enough shade to the soil that weed seeds will not be able to grow.
- Mulching between the mounds with hay is a good way to keep the fruits clean. It also will keep weeds from settling in and growing.
- When growing zucchini, you should keep an eye out for Cucumber Beetles. This pest is spotted or striped. They like to feed on the plant's leaves and they can also spread disease from one plant to another. Another pest to watch out for is the Vine Borers. These bad guys can eat right through your vines. You can easily rid your garden of these pests by applying an insecticide.
Zucchinis are fast growers. You should pick them when they are about six inches long. If you pick zucchini when it is much larger, it can be tough. You can always leave two or three zucchinis to grow - just to see how large they will grow. However, you are advised to pick the small ones to eat.