With a few simple growing secrets, you can create an overflowing harvest of fresh, delicious and nutritious zucchini!
A zucchini plant is one of the most productive vegetables around. Under ideal growing conditions, a single plant can produce 5 to 10 pounds of produce.
And, you will be hard pressed to find a more healthy vegetable than a fresh zucchini plucked from the garden. Not only is it a great source of fiber, it contains high levels of potassium, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and zinc.
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Zucchini also is a great source of anti-oxidants, and contains vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, copper, and a full complement of the vitamin B family.
The Secrets To Growing A Bumper Crop Of Zucchini
Zucchini plants thrive in loose, fertile, and well-drained soil. As with cucumbers, melons and pumpkins, planting zucchini in small hills or mounds is a big secret to success.
Although zucchini need a fair amount of water to produce, moisture laying around the base can be an issue. The raised soil helps keep the crown of the plant from becoming too wet. This reduces the chance a plant’s center stems will rot if the soil becomes water-logged.
How To Plant
Begin by creating a raised area for planting by mounding soil 4 to 6 inches high, and 18 inches in diameter. Create the mound with a mixture of soil and compost. This will give the plants plenty of nutrients as they grow. See : How To Make Great Compost
Zucchini can be planted directly by seed or via transplants. Either way, you will want to have 3 plants growing in each raised hill.
If planting via seed, be sure to plant a few extra seeds to ensure that enough will germinate. Once seeds have sprouted, thin to the 3 healthiest plants growing. Zucchini Seed Links : Black Beauty Heirloom Zucchini – Dark Star Non-GMO Zucchini Seed
Mulch underneath plants with a few inches of straw to help conserve moisture and keep the vegetables off of the soil. This will help to keep the zucchini from blemishes. Pick on the younger, smaller side for the most tender taste.
Pollination Is The Key
Other than good soil and consistent watering, zucchini need very little to grow. If there is a problem with growing zucchini, the secret to solving it all usually centers around proper pollination.
Zucchini have both male and female flowers. The male flowers are true flowers, while female blooms have pre-mature zucchini at the base of their flower.
The female blooms need to be fertilized by the male flowers in order to become a true zucchini. For this process, they rely heavily on the honey bee and other insects for the necessary pollination.
When honey bees are non-existent or few and far between, problems can ensue.
If your zucchini blooms are flowering but rotting at the base, it is usually is a direct result from a lack of pollination. But there is good news, the problem is not insurmountable!
If bees are not visiting your plants, you provide the necessary pollination with your own two hands. By taking a small artist’s paintbrush, simply open up the mail flower, brush the inside, and then transfer to the female flower. And the magic happens!
Just another secret to growing a bumper crop of zucchini this year!
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