Monday, June 15, 2009

Growing Zucchini

The first year I grew zucchini, I started six plants.  I was in college at the time and we planted a small garden on the side of the house we were renting.   I had no idea how productive a zucchini plant could be.  Everyone who came to our house that summer couldn’t leave with taking some zucchini.  This included the UPS guy.  I had so many large, overgrown, squash that I cut them in half and carved them, like pumpkins, for Halloween.
One plant will feed two to three people, easily.  I’ve found that zucchini don’t do well in a container.  Two years ago I planted one in a very large planter but I got very few squash.  So now I plant them in the ground.  Make sure you give the plant enough space to spread out. 
I plant the seeds on the first full moon after the last frost in spring.  I plant 3 seeds close together, just to be sure, and keep only the biggest of the ones that sprout.  If you have four or five people to feed, leave the two biggest plants.  To get a jump start on the season, you can start the seeds in your house, in a sunny window, on the full moon a month before you’re going to plant them outside.
They like well-drained soil and need to be consistently moist, so I give mine a little water everyday, when it’s hot.  It’s better to water them at the base rather than from the top, you’ll have less problems with disease.   Plant it in full sun for best results.  
Here’s a picture of my first zucchini of the summer.

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