Growing Zucchini: Facts and Tips
Zucchini should be part of every garden and indeed, only the last seedlings are still available in garden shops, but they go fast. If you sow, you should already have seeds in the ground. Zucchini is a great crop and it is widespread not only throughout Europe but all over the world. The Latin name Cucurbita pepo suggests that it came from Central America. It is currently most widely grown in southern Europe and Asia but there are excellent conditions for zucchini in central Europe too. This plant is tougher than cucumbers and produces gorgeous, often monstrous fruits.
What types of zucchinis are there?
Most likely you will encounter deep green colour varieties which have lighter flesh. These zucchinis are little harder, but the skin peels off easily. If you buy yellow zucchini, be aware that the fruits, in particular the large ones, will have a very hard skin. An excellent choice is the light green zucchini, which is similar as the dark green variety. There is an interesting cultivar called Tonda di Piacenza, which produces round fruits but there are many other options.
Growing zucchini is a piece of cake
If you want to grow a “low-maintenance” crop, bet on zucchini. You may sow directly in your garden patch but make sure you do so when the days and nights are really warm. More common approach is to pre-grow seedlings to reduce the time between planting and harvesting. As for the soil, it does not have to be specially prepared, but it pays to use compost in the spring, and as for the distance between the individual plants, make sure that each nest has available area of approximately 80 x 100 cm. Zucchini grows very well and if it is in a smaller space it literally creates a jungle where various fungi may thrive and you do not want that. Zucchini loves the sun and if it does not have enough, it will grow slowly especially if the temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius. It takes about 40 days from sowing before you see your first seedlings.
Go for smaller fruits
If you grow large zucchini you will have to deal with the seeds, which are plentiful inside the fruit. If zucchini overgrows too much, try cutting off few leaves. This has worked well for us. Zucchini is excellent for various weight loss diets as they contain 90% of water. Other beneficial nutrients include potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper, calcium or magnesium. It also contains plenty of vitamins A, C and B and it is often used for body detoxification.
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.