Perfect for beginner gardeners, zucchini is very easy to grow and one is quickly rewarded with abundant production. Used as a vegetable, this fruit in the botanical sense, which is part of the large Cucurbitaceae family, is an ally of our health and our figure. It is therefore without hesitation that we can sow zucchini in the garden to be able to consume them without moderation a few weeks later.
The month ofavril is ideal for sowing zucchini. It is recommended to sow in pots at the rate of three seeds per container and to keep them under shelter, where the temperature is around 20°C. It is also necessary to allow the seedlings to benefit from a great luminosity as soon as they emerge. The sowing method is as follows:
- Once the pockets are in pots, cover them with a thin layer of fertile soil without packing it down. Note that you can use biodegradable cups which can be planted directly in the ground when transplanting.
- Water in rain or by spraying the soil which must remain moist.
As soon as the seedlings reach a height of 10 cm, they can be transplanted into the open ground, provided that it is sufficiently warmed by the sun.
In the most southern regions, zucchini can be sown directly in the ground from the end of the Ice Saints until July 15.
Reserve a well-exposed area of the vegetable garden for the zucchini under the sun because she needs heat. She likes them cool, loose soils rich in organic matter. This is why before planting, care is taken to add fresh manure to the topsoil. The method of planting zucchini is as follows:
- Dig in advance holes 10 to 12 cm deep and 25 cm on each side,
- Enrich the bottom with compost or fresh manure,
- Remember to space the holes from 80 cm to 1 m in all directions,
- A few days later, keep only the most beautiful seedling from each bucket,
- Place the buckets in the holes,
- Cover the feet with the soil and tamp lightly,
- Water without wetting the leaves.
Install a mulch as soon as the plants have recovered well.
Caring for the zucchini
The mulch proves to be very useful because it keeps the soil moist, essential for good development of courgettes, but it also limits the growth of weeds and consequently limits hoeing sessions. The thickness of the mulch should be 5-6 cm, not less.
L’watering zucchini is done very early in the morning or in the evening, and at the foot so that the leaves do not get wet. It must be abundant and regular, once every two days in the absence of mulch or twice a week if care has been taken to install mulch.
Pinch and trim
As soon as a young zucchini plant has formed 5 or 6 leaves, it is necessary to clampr the rod above the 2th sheet with a sharp pruner because the cut must be clean and frank. This pruning is fundamental for new stems to form and flowers to appear.
A second size is to be expected after fruit development. We cut above the 2th leaf located above the last zucchini that you want to keep.
Pests and diseases
The zucchini is not the target of parasites in particular. On the other hand, its very tender young leaves are a delight for gastropods. We can therefore limit the invasion of slugs and snails by depositing at the foot of the plantations iron-based granules authorized in organic farming. They are effective, but the only constraint is to have to repeat the operation after each episode of heavy rain.
As for thepowdery mildewit’s a sickness identifiable by the spots that appear on the foliage. Diseased leaves must be removed so that they do not contaminate other vegetables in the vegetable garden, and burned. Under no circumstances should they be used to make compost. To treat powdery mildew, the plants can be sprayed with one of the following solutions:
- A mixture composed of 2 liters of water, 2 teaspoons of real Marseille soap and 10 g of sodium bicarbonate,
- A sulfur-based product that can be purchased at garden centers.
Powdery mildew appears especially on the feet of zucchini whose leaves have been wet during successive waterings. This is why it is necessary to take care to water at the foot.
Harvest your zucchini
The harvest takes place within three months of plantingfrom the moment the waterings have been sufficiently copious because this is the condition sine qua non so that the flowers and then the fruits develop rapidly.
The round courgettes are harvested when they measure 10 or 11 cm in diameter and the long ones when they measure 18 to 20 cm in length. You can pick zucchini every day or every other day. It is therefore necessary to monitor the development of the fruits daily because it is very rapid. However, zucchini that are too big are less appreciated because they start to have seeds.
It is also possible to pick some zucchini flowers which are eaten for example stuffed. Some can therefore be reserved for this use while the others will be left on the feet since they will subsequently give rise to fruit.