This guide shows how to grow zucchini from seed in the home garden. Zucchini are one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden and with regular watering and fertiliser they will give you a bounty of summer vegetables that can be grilled, stuffed or used in stir fries.
Sow in spring or summer when the threat of frosts is over. To have a supply right through the warmer months, plant the first seeds in spring then plant a fresh mound in the middle of summer.
Materials and Tools Needed
- Zucchini Seed – Blackjack and Lebanese are popular varieties that produce well. (Paid link)
- Well Matured Manure
- Gardening Gloves – These gloves have claws for digging. Find them at Amazon. (Paid link)
Planting and growing zucchini from seed.
- Position in Your Garden
Choose a sunny position in the garden. You will need a metre (40 inches) for every mound as the plant has large leaves and creeps along the ground.
- Soil Preparation
Add several handfuls of manure to each mound position then dig in well. It is best to wear gloves when handling the manure otherwise wash your hands well.
- Creating the Mound
Using the shovel make a mound with an indentation in the middle and a trench around it. This will keep the water where it is needed which will save you on water and help the plants to flourish.
- Plant the Seed
Next make three holes with your finger in the top of the mound 12 mm (1/2 inch) deep. Place one seed in each hole then cover with soil.
- Seedlings Emerge
Water well then keep moist until the seedlings emerge in 6 to 10 days. Zucchini plants will do better with regular deep watering and liquid fertiliser every two weeks.
- Harvesting Zucchinis
The first crop will be ready in 8 weeks from sowing. Cut when about 15 cm(6 inches) long. Harvesting the zucchinis regularly will ensure a continuous crop.
How to Get Rid of Zucchini Pests
You will find some bugs like to suck the sap out of the leaves and occasionally will get on the zucchinis. You can use vegetable dust (paid link) but if you harvest regularly before the zucchinis get too large you can keep on top of them.
I have never worried about getting rid of the bugs as there are natural predators who like to eat them. Any leaves that look too bad can be removed and any marks left on the zucchini can be easily sliced off before cooking.
How to Collect Zucchini Seeds
If one of your zucchinis gets away from you and grows large then let it get to about a foot long or more. Slice it open lengthways then take out all the seeds that are of a decent size. Leave them to air dry on paper towels or a dish towel.
When completely dry store in an airtight container or plastic bag and label with the date. They should last two years. Throw out any seeds that feel completely flat as they won’t germinate.
The zucchini flowers can be stuffed with a variety of fillings then pan fried or baked. Try stuffing with a mix of bacon, feta cheese and mushrooms then drizzle over a little olive oil and bake in a moderate oven for 10 to 15 minutes or try this recipe for a ricotta stuffed pan fried zucchini flowers.
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