Easily Grow Zucchini
Riddle: What do you call someone who buys zucchini at the grocery store?
One of the easiest summer vegetables to grow is zucchini. Some parts of the world call zucchini courgette, but since I live in the United States, I will continue in this article by referring to the plant as zucchini. Zucchini is easy to grow and is probably the most prolific producer in the summer vegetable garden. In addition, if you plant heirloom seeds, you will be able to save the seed and produce a sustainable harvest year after year.
Heirloom zucchini seeds differ from hybrids because they produce the same characteristics year after year. The most common heirloom variety of zucchini is the black beauty. This zucchini can be picked within fifty days of sowing the seeds. The fruit is shiny, greenish black and should be picked with it is six to eight inches long. The plants are a compact (three to four feet wide) and can be frozen for later use.
Heirlooms grown in the same garden year after year will adapt to that micro-climate over time. By saving only the best seeds, your crop will improve year after year providing you with the features you most desire in the zucchini.
Zucchini is sensitive to cold temperatures so be sure to plant seeds one week a after the last expected frost date. Some people buy zucchini plants, but zucchini grown from seed will produce just as quickly as transplanted zucchini so save the expense of the more expensive plants and grow from seed.
Like most annual garden vegetables, zucchini likes rich well-drained, loamy soil. Squash is a heavy feeder, so be sure to add copious amounts of compost to the soil where the zucchini is planted. Whether planted in traditional 19th century garden style or in modern beds, plant zucchini 3 foot apart with 2–3 seeds per “hill”.
Plant zucchini seed down a half inch, seeds three to four feet apart after all danger of frost has passed. If purchasing plants, plant zucchini plants to the depth they grew in the growing container. Zucchini requires a relatively short, but mild growing season — about fifty to seventy days.