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A little Zucchini goes a long way! You only need to plant a few zucchinis in your garden to enjoy a large harvest. They just keep on setting more and more zucchinis. Here is how to grow zucchini.
Zucchini is a heat loving plant – I don’t put my Zucchini plants into the garden until the weather warms up. Usually this means, they don’t put in the Garden until early June here in the north.
We love Zucchini loaf and I make lots of it during the Winter. Here’s how I grow and harvest it.
How to Grow Zucchini
Like a lot of the other vegetables, I start Zucchini in the house. Since we live in the North, we cannot seed a lot of vegetables right into the garden.
The Zucchini seedlings stay in the house until the nights warm up a bit and I feel more confident about planting them outside.
When to Plant Zucchini
You can see that some of the Zucchini is already blooming – it is time to get these in the ground.
Actually it is past the ideal planting time, but I simply cannot put these in the ground until it is warmer outside.
This year I only planted 6. Zucchini is very prolific – a plant or two should be enough for a family. We usually grow about 20 of these plants as we feed a lot of them to the pigs and chickens. They love it!
Since we aren’t doing pigs this year, I reduced the amount of plants we needed.
Look at the good root system on this Zucchini – it’s awesome. The bigger the root system, the better. The plant will have a much better chance of success when it is transplanted into the garden.
I plant them in holes about one foot apart. Zucchini is a heavy feeder so if you are still working on improving your soil, add a shovelful of well composted manure to each hole.
When I first plant them out, each evening I go out and cover the row with Remay cloth. Remay adds a few degrees of frost protection, which will increase the chances of all the plants getting settled and starting to grow.
I’ll keep putting on and taking off the Remay cloth until mid-June or whenever the weather warms up. You could actually just leave the Remay on there all the time, except for when the plants are flowering.
When to Pick Zucchini
An important thing to remember about growing Zucchini is, once it starts fruiting, the plants need to be checked on pretty much daily.
What started out as a tiny squash two days ago, could today be perfect for picking and eating.
Zucchini grows very quickly and before long, you will discover squash the size of small baseball bats. These large ones, while not the best for eating, can be used for making loaves.
Zucchini likes a good amount of water – other than water and frost protection, they don’t need much assistance.
How to Harvest Zucchini
We harvest Zucchinis by just carefully twisting the fruit so the stem will break. The plants will keep producing as long as you keep picking. Zucchini squash with the blossoms still attached are a big hit at the Farmer’s Market.
Zucchini can also be cut with a knife. In the picture above, the best Zucchini for eating at dinner time are the ones in the middle of the picture.
The larger ones I peel and then grate them. Putting them in 2 cups measured into a Ziplock bag, these are perfect for making Zucchini loaf. Pop the bags in the freezer and you’ll be all set.
You can also dehydrate Zucchini to make chips. Just slice thin and dry them, either in a dehydrator or in the sun with a layer of cheesecloth on top, to keep the bugs off. Make sure you bring them in at night, then put them back out in the morning.
How to Save Zucchini Seed
Zucchini is very easy to harvest seed from. Just scoop out the seeds and dry them. Then keep them in an envelope or plastic baggy and store them in a cold dark place.
The following year, just plant those seeds and you’ll never have to buy Zucchini seeds again.
Now, I am heading out to the Garden. I need to plant more cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli, as well as seeding more beets. Then I need to get more Potato plants in. Want to learn how to plant potatoes?
Do you love Zucchini? Grow some Zucchini for yourself!