Zucchini is popular with many healthy and tasty vegetables. How to ensure that the zucchini diet delights us with fruit almost until winter? How to rejuvenate bushes and increase productivity?
Although zucchini is a picky plant, but like any garden crop, it requires careful attitude and care, which you will need to carry out regularly so that the fruits are tied up before the onset of cold weather.
What to consider when growing zucchini
The rules of care are simple, but they should be remembered and observed for continuous and long-term fruiting. What to pay attention to first:
- observing crop rotation;
- choose long-fruiting varieties and hybrids of zucchini;
- do not thicken the planting;
- water thoroughly as the soil dries;
- remove old and diseased leaves;
- protect zucchini from disease;
- feed during the entire period of fruiting;
- mulch the ground.
To prolong the fruiting of already developed bushes, we will dwell in more detail on the rules of care.
How to properly water zucchini
You need to water the zucchini fairly abundantly as the soil dries out. Moisture should penetrate the soil to a depth of 50 cm. If the soil is dry, then at least 10 liters of water will be needed for each adult plant. Zucchini especially need to be watered during flowering and fruiting: from the beginning of July to the end of August.
You can not use cold water for irrigation: root capillaries shrink, water is poorly absorbed, plants experience shocks. In addition, it can lead to root rot. Water temperature for irrigation should be at least 20°C.
The frequency of watering depends on the soil: if the soil is sandy, water more often, if clayey, water less often, because it retains moisture better.
What zucchini leaves should be removed
If zucchini grows on fertile soil, they form well-developed bushes with a large number of leaves. During hot summers, the leaves help keep the soil from drying out. And if it starts to rain and the air temperature drops, there is a risk of fungal diseases, rotting ovaries of zucchini. Therefore, old, yellowed and damaged leaves should be periodically removed. You can do this about once a week so the plants don’t get stressed.
Stripping solves several problems at the same time: it provides ventilation for the bush, warms the earth and gives access to flowers for pollinating insects. The leaves are removed with sharp scissors or secateurs as close to the stem as possible. This should be done in warm, sunny weather, and preferably in the morning, so that the cut dries in the sun.
In climbing zucchini, you can remove the cilia on which there are no ovaries. This will help the plant to redirect forces to the shoots with fruits.
What to do if signs of the disease have already appeared on the leaves of zucchini? In this case, the diseased leaves are removed and the bushes are treated with a solution of preparations based on hay bacillus or trichoderma.
After removing the leaves from the zucchini, you need to feed it with complex fertilizer to stimulate the further development of the bush.
How to feed zucchini
During the entire fruiting period, zucchini should be fed and applied to the soil. ME drugs (Fitosporin-M, Baikal-EM1), which will increase the resistance of zucchini to major diseases and extend the growing season. You can alternate the following types of dressings:
1. Baker’s yeast – a popular and affordable tool that increases the activity of soil microorganisms. To prepare a solution for irrigation, 100 g of yeast is diluted in 1 liter of warm water, 1 tbsp is added. sugar and leave for 3-4 hours in a warm place. A glass of the resulting solution is used for 10 liters of water and watered at the rate of 5 liters per bush.
How does yeast work? They are microscopic fungi which, when released into the soil, stimulate the decomposition of organic matter. As a result, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are quickly absorbed by plant roots and our zucchini grow by leaps and bounds. But at the same time, the soil quickly depletes, so watering should be alternated with a yeast solution with a potash dressing.
You can only use baker’s yeast on well-heated soil that is rich in organic matter.
2. Nettle tea will be an excellent potash dressing for zucchini. To do this, seedless herbs are placed in a barrel or plastic bucket and filled with water. After one to two weeks (depending on the air temperature), when the infusion stops foaming, the top dressing will be ready. During this time, the contents of the barrel should be stirred occasionally. To speed up the fermentation process, you can add the drug Baikal-EM 1. To water the zucchini, 1 liter of infusion is diluted in 10 liters of water.
3. Mullein tea – excellent fertilizer for the garden. To prepare it, one part cow dung is poured into five parts water and steeped for two weeks, stirring occasionally. To water the courgettes, use 1 liter of infusion diluted in 10 liters of water. To make the top dressing more nutritious, you can add another 100 g of superphosphate to a bucket of the prepared solution.
4. Effecton-O – a universal organic additive that can be used at all stages of zucchini growth. This is a natural fertilizer based on peat and manure with the addition of active elements. To feed 2 tbsp. the drug is diluted in 10 liters of water. The resulting solution is watered plants under the root, and the leaves are also processed.
5. wood ash – an essential mineral fertilizer that deoxidizes, enriches the soil, improves its structure. The ash contains about 30 important minerals for plants. For top dressing, you can use diluted dry ash.
To make a liquid top dressing, a glass of ash is diluted in 10 liters of water and watered at the rate of 5 liters per bush. And dry sifted ash is sprinkled on the leaves and the ground under the bushes. Consumption of dry ash for cucumbers and courgettes: 1 cup per 1 m². Sprinkling the zucchini with ash will help protect them from common cucurbit diseases.
6. Nitroammophoska enriches the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These substances are needed by plants throughout the growing season. Nitrogen will help zucchini grow new leaves, which is very important for the bush after pruning. With a lack of potassium and phosphorus, a large number of empty flowers appear in zucchini, the fruits are deformed, and the ovaries rot. Nitroammophoska granules are dissolved in warm water (10 g per 5 l) and watered with 1 l for each bush.
It is necessary to feed zucchini after watering.
Why mulch the soil
Mulching the soil under the squash helps retain moisture, retards weed growth and improves soil structure – after all, beneficial bacteria thrive under a layer of mulch. In order for the zucchini fruits and lower leaves to have less contact with moist soil, the mulch layer should be updated from time to time.
At the end of summer, when the nights turn cold, zucchini can be covered with spunbond by installing arches above the beds. To accelerate fruit growth in the fall, pinch off the tops of the main stems.
By following these simple rules for caring for zucchini, you can harvest fruit before frost. Good harvest!