10 Tips for Growing Zucchini:
1. Plant where they will get at least 10 hours of direct sunlight.
2. Leave about 3-4’ space between each plant to allow for air to circulate.
3. If space is limited, put up a trellis for vertical support.
4. Give them a good doze of fertilizer each month of the summer to ensure they keep producing.
5. Mulch around established plants, this helps the soil retain water.
6. Make sure your soil stays consistently moist. Your plants should receive about soil about 2” a week. To prevent problems with disease, always water from below.
7. Your soil should have a pH between 6.0-7.0.
8. Pale to brown blotches on leaves are the work of squash bugs. Squash vine borers cause plants to wilt suddenly.
9. Harvest zucchini when the fruits are still smal, about 3 to 4 inches across or 4 to 6 inches long.
10. Use a sharp knife to sever the squash from the stem. This will protect breakage of stem.
Bonus Tip: Zucchinis don’t hold their flavor very long after picking. You can store them in the fridge but should use them up within a week.
Powdery mildew may strike zucchini plants, leaving whitish powdery spots on leaves that turn brown and dry. You can prevent this by making sure leaves have a chance to dry, by good air circulation and exposing as much leaf surface as possible to direct sunlight. Remove leaves that show mildew to try and stop the spread.
If the mildew has effect a large part of the plant an organic remedy is using cows milk. Mix 1 part milk with 9 parts water and spray the stems and tops of leaves with the solution. Reapply after rain.
You can try to prevent Powdery Mildew by spraying leaves with a mix of 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 quart water. This raises the pH, creating an unwelcoming environment for powdery mildew.
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