Planting and caring for zucchini in the Leningrad region: sharing experiences
The generous harvest of this crop is little dependent on summer weather - rather, the matter is in the methods of planting and caring for it. Do not believe? Then read and don’t say later that you didn’t see it.
Zucchini and no magic
To write this letter I was pushed, to put it mildly, deplorable situation with zucchini, which was formed in our region last summer. But! All my friends plants turned down, and I had massive fruiting at 10-x numbers in July. In the eyes of my neighbors, I read bewilderment and suspicion.
So, I'll tell you everything in order.
Planting zucchini - terms and rules
The garden, unfortunately, can only be dealt with on weekends, and to reduce the number of trips to the country house for irrigation, I almost all rusch in the open ground. Seedlings I plant in the ground in mid-May.
I plant bush squash, because they are more compact and more prolific. The weather at this time can be any, but already 10-12 ° heat will do. I sow the seeds in separate black small seedling cassettes 5 × 5 cm 10 days before planting in the ground.
Why such a time interval? On each bag of seeds it is written: "to plant 30-day seedlings or to sow directly in the ground." This does not suit me for two reasons. Or a month-old seedling, falling from greenhouse conditions to a night temperature of 5 °, experiences such stress that until it has the whole aerial part updated, the plant freezes (and the leaves with which the zucchini was planted die off). Or it will be possible to wait for seedlings for two or three weeks, and when they appear, the snails will eat half.
A so sown in black boxes and exposed to the sun seeds are rising days after five and by the time of landing in the ground already have a completely fighting appearance.
By mid-May, weeds grow abundantly, and now they become my main helpers. From my own experience, I advise you to do so. You do not need to prepare a place for zucchini in advance, but immediately before planting you should make a high bed. There are two options, depending on what you have more: free land or weeds. If the earth, then we take it, of any quality, and pour it in a sunny place with a height of 40-50 centimeters, a width of 50, and in length, depending on the number of seedlings. The distance between the zucchini should be about 1 m, otherwise you will get a squash.
After we have prepared the bed, we make the surface flat and in the place of future zucchini a hole of a centimeter in 30, and in each we put on a bucket of fresh weeds without roots. We raked the grass with a nest and poured into the center half the bucket of good prepared land. It can be taken from nettles or from the place where potatoes grew last year.
Also, the land can be prepared by the siderates. You need to mix it in half with compost or straw, or you can add egg shells or onion cleanings. The earth should turn out to be fluffy, breathable. If you still have weeds, then mulch the entire surface of the bed and add grass during the summer.
Reference by topic: How best to grow zucchini - seeds or seedlings. Varieties of courgettes
Bed for zucchini
In the case when the land is not enough, you can generally make the entire garden of weeds.
In the lower layer, use grass with roots, pour abundantly, put cardboard on top, and the same grass on it, but without roots (at this time it is full of dandelions, and I make beds from them). Further we dig through 1 m holes and in them we pour good earth.
The height of the bed in this case will be 70-80 cm, but then it will strongly sit down. Grassy beds then I cover with a black film and on the perimeter I fill the ground (it is not necessary to open it).
In an earthen bed in the holes, I plant seedlings up to the cotyledons, and in the grassy bed I make cross-shaped incisions above the holes, I turn the edges inward and plant the seedlings. In the future, care for the beds is the same. For a couple of weeks I cover the sprouted seedlings with five-liter canisters with a cut bottom and a cork removed, put five-liter cans of water in a row between the zucchini, cover it with white covering material, hold it well and visit the zucchini once a week to check, water it. I leave the cans with water until the end of the season, and remove the covering material at the beginning of fruiting, but not earlier than the end of June. I’ll say from experience that a bed of weeds is better than an earthen bed. I plant a couple of zucchini on the grass and three pieces in an earthen bed.
Now a few words about the development and fruiting of the vegetable marrow. Here at the vegetable marrow grew 5-7 real leaves, the bush became a diameter of 40-50 cm, bloomed, and here is the long-awaited ovary. But do not flatter yourself, the harvest is still far away.
If you leave this ovary, the zucchini will cease to grow and will give all its strength to the development of the offspring. The fruit will most likely be small and deformed.
Until the full development of the bush, the first ovaries are ruthlessly removed. Readiness zucchini to fruit bearing is easy to determine: the bush should be a diameter of 70-80 cm, and the ovary after flowering grow rapidly. As the crop is formed, it is clearly visible on the photo 1. I grow zucchini of the necessary length and mass (optimally 500-800 g), I cut or break it by rotation, and in three days the next fruit grows up.
The crop of courgettes can be increased. To do this, you need to pinch the growth point in the 2-3 phase of real leaves, and then the bush will share on the 2-3 whip. Just do not remove the tops of all zucchini, tk. after that the fruits will be later!
Reference by topic: Growing zucchini in the country, care, recipes
An example of a dock is shown in the photo 2. During the summer I harvest, and at the end of August I throw on the bushes covering material. And in the first days of September, despite the traditional frosts, I shoot a few fresh fruits. And finally, another tip: gather zucchini regularly and when harvesting do not tear all the ovaries, do not deprive the plants of hope for offspring.
© Author: Arthur Nikolaevich St. Petersburg
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