Zucchini, known botanically as Cucurbita pepo, is a vegetable belonging to the Curcubitáceas family that has become extremely popular in recent years. The pioneers in the cultivation of this nutritious, tasty, and low-calorie vegetable were the Arabs. Currently, the main world producers of zucchini are North America, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. Its culinary use is very wide, in an omelette, tempura, roast, stuffing, etc. So why not plant zucchini in your garden at home?
How to plant zucchini
Planting zucchini is easy because only what you need is a warm climate to germinate. You can plant zucchini in your home garden directly in the ground, placing two or three zucchini seeds per hole, 2 cm deep.
The seeds are sown together from March to September so that when they germinate they easily break the crust of the soil. When you place them, cover them with 4 cm of soil. Once germination has taken place, grow one seedling per hole, choosing the strongest and discarding the others.
Zucchini adapts to any type of soil, although it prefers those that are deep and have good drainage. On the other hand, simple fertilizers are the most widely used, both soluble and liquid.
As for watering, if you are going to grow zucchini in your garden, you will have to know that this plant requires humidity, so you should water it frequently when the first fruits begin to appear. However, at the beginning of planting it is not convenient to exceed with water, since waterlogging is detrimental to the correct development of the plant.
When you do the transplanting, do a deep watering so that it takes root well and don’t water the plant again until the leaves are “decayed”; there you will have to do a deep watering again. Repeat these steps until the flower begins to grow. From then on, you should keep the soil moist, but without flooding it.
Pruning and harvesting
In the zucchini, you must eliminate the secondary shoots as soon as possible. If home gardening has given a great welcome to the zucchini, the harvest should be done 40 days after planting and will continue according to the growth of the plant for another 40 days. Pick zucchini daily or every other day.
Pests and diseases that affect zucchini
- Whitefly: This insect causes the plant to yellow and weaken. The best way to combat this pest is by growing aromatic plants that repel it, such as basil.
- Red spider: This insect affects the zucchini plant during its first phase of development, so you should watch it at this point.
- Aphids: these form colonies and are distributed in foci that spread in spring-summer.
It can also be attacked by mildew, caterpillars, powdery mildew, and gray and white rot. Remember that if you plant the zucchini next to a nasturtium, this will help you keep aphids and whiteflies away and, in addition, improve the flavor of this vegetable.
- Plant the zucchini in a sunny place so that it develops well
- On the other hand, its greatest development occurs when temperatures stay between 25 and 35 ° C.
- Eliminate weeds and crop debris to prevent pests and diseases.
- When the zucchini flowers fulfill their function, they will detach themselves, so you must remove them as soon as possible so that they do not rot and form diseases.