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Zucchini: The Super-Abundant Easy-To Grow Plant Every Garden Needs

Image source: wildernesswife.com [1]

Image source: wildernesswife.com

Zucchini is easy to plant, easy to grow and delicious to eat, making it a favorite to grow in a garden. A summer squash, it comes in all sizes and shapes. It can grow up to several feet in length if left on the vine long enough. In fact, a Canadian man holds the Guinness World Record for longest zucchini ever grown. It was 7 feet, 10 inches in length!

Zucchini is usually some shade of light or dark green, but there are beautiful yellow, orange and gold varieties (this is not to mention all the varieties with stripes). Although treated like a vegetable, zucchini is actually a fruit. It came from the Americas and eventually made its way to Italy.

Common Varieties of Zucchini

How to Plant Zucchini

You can grow zucchini alone as a single plant or in groups on mounds or small hills.  Zucchini does very well in full sunlight (at least six to 10 hours) and needs room to spread. Well-draining soil is ideal to use or plant in.

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Always plant after the threat of frost is gone. Make holes about one-half inch to one-inch deep and place one seed or seedling per hole. When planting on mounds, make hills of soil from six to 12 inches high, and no wider than 12 to 24 inches. Four to five seeds should be put in each hill and thinned back to two or three once the seedlings have leaves.

You also can start zucchini in your house to give seedlings a head start on the spring growing season. Try planting the seeds four to six weeks before the frost ends, then plant outside when the weather is right.

Caring for Zucchini Plants

zucchini [3]Seedlings can have mulch placed around them to keep the temperature of the ground constant. This also helps to retain water. By doing this, your zucchini will be ready to harvest earlier and have a large yield.

Water your plants at least twice a week as they need a couple inches of water per week. If watering by hand, water below the leaves. If the plants are sprayed on top by a hose they can develop mildew.

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Try not to let the zucchini get too big. They are more tasty and soft when they are smaller.

Zucchini Pests and Problems

Although zucchini is easy to grow, you might have to battle the occasional pest. Here’s the usual suspects and how to handle them:

To avoid diseases, make sure your zucchini get plenty of sun, water and have good air flow around the plants.


Once zucchini start maturing, you should check the plants every day for fruit that is ready to pick. Always check under the leaves, as zucchini can sometimes be hidden. The fruit should be firm and not mushy.

Once the fruit is between six and 12 inches in length, you can pick zucchini regularly. Doing this encourages more zucchini to grow. To speed up growth, pick more fruit. To slow the harvest season, pick less (leave one or two fruits on the vine at a time).

There are a couple of ways of removing the fruit from the stem. You can use a sharp knife and cut the stem (which can be rough) that attaches the fruit. You also can simply hold the zucchini and slowly (very slowly) twist. The fruit will usually come off after turns of 90 to 180 degrees.

Once you have grown and harvested your zucchini, the next step in your adventure begins! Enjoy your zucchini in salads, breads, soups and more.

What are your zucchini growing tips? Share them in the section below:

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