The general requirements of culture can be found on the page Zucchini
It is better to prepare a plot for zucchini in the fall. After harvesting the previous crops, the plot is loosened to accelerate the germination of weed seeds. Digging is carried out after 1-2 weeks. For digging, manure, humus or compost is applied - 4-6 kg / m2, superphosphate - 30-35 g / m2 and potash fertilizer - 15-25 g / m2, or complex fertilizer - 50-60 g / m2. If necessary, soil deoxidation is carried out in autumn with dolomite flour according to the previous culture.
In the spring of next year, the plot is dug up. For digging, 15-20 g / m2 of ammonium nitrate is introduced. If fertilizers have not been applied since the fall, then they are applied in the spring (except for manure).
On sandy loam soils, magnesium-containing fertilizers are applied: magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate - (30 g / 10 m2) or dolomite flour.
On virgin soil in the first year of planting, 2-3 kg of manure (in autumn), compost or humus are applied. From mineral fertilizers - in the spring of 1-2 tbsp. tablespoons of nitrophoska (or other complete fertilizer) and 1 glass of wood ash.
In the non-chernozem zone, zucchini are mainly grown on ridges 20-25 cm high and 100-140 cm wide, if necessary with temporary film shelters. Various types of "warm" beds or compost heaps are widely used. The heat released from the overheating organic matter creates optimal conditions for the growth and development of plants.
On different soils, the application of fertilizer doses is not the same. Above were given the generally accepted average doses for average soil fertility. Below are the average fertilizer doses for different soil types.
Peat soils (for 1m2):
- Manure (in autumn), humus or compost - 5 kg.
- Sod land (loamy, consisting of clay and sand or clay soil) - 1 bucket.
- Superphosphate - 1 tbsp. spoon.
- Potash fertilizers - 1 tbsp. spoon.
- Ash - 1 glass.
Clay soils (for 1m2):
- Coarse sand - 1 bucket.
- Peat - 1 bucket.
- Manure (in autumn), humus or compost - 1 bucket.
- Semi-rotted sawdust - 1 bucket.
- Nitrofoska or other complex fertilizer - 1 tbsp. spoon.
- Superphosphate - 1 tbsp. spoon.
- Ash - 1 glass.
Light loamy soils (for 1m2):
The same components as for clay soil, except for sand.
Sandy soils (for 1m2):
- Manure (in autumn), humus or compost - 2 buckets.
- Soddy clay soil - 2 buckets.
- Peat - 2 buckets.
- Semi-rotted sawdust - 2 buckets.
- Mineral fertilizers - as for clay soils.
Fertile chernozem soils (for 1m2):
- Semi-rotted sawdust - 0.5 buckets.
- Soddy clay soil - 1 bucket.
- Superphosphate - 2 tbsp. spoons.
- Wood ash - 1 glass.
Zucchini has a widespread root system, therefore, local application of fertilizers to the hole does not bring the desired effect and the soil is greatly depleted.
General questions of cultivation
In the non-chernozem zone, planting seedlings or sowing seeds in open ground is carried out after the threat of recurrent frosts has passed, i.e. June 5-10. If the seedlings or seeds are supposed to be planted at an earlier date, then it is necessary to provide for covering the plants with a film or non-woven covering material stretched over a frame or arcs. At this time, the temperature can be quite low at night, and plants need to be covered with a second layer of material at night. Between the layers of material on the double frame, there should be a space of 15-20 cm. It is even better if this frame is installed above a "warm" bed.
Depending on the purpose for which the plants are grown, the planting density or seed sowing changes. To get products to the table throughout the season, when sowing with seeds, you must adhere to a scheme of 100 cm between plants and 150 cm between rows. For the same purposes, using 30-day seedlings - 150-200 cm between plants and 150-200 cm between rows.Modern varieties and hybrids grow especially strongly with early planting on warm ridges with additional film cover.
To extend the supply of fresh produce, you can plant several plants with seedlings on early "warm" beds and sow 2-3 times with seeds with a difference of 5-7 days.
In the initial period of growth, the plants do not occupy the entire area allotted to them. It can be taken with radishes, onions on a feather, early ripening green crops.
To obtain fruits for autumn-winter storage, seedlings are planted on June 5-10 or seeds are sown more densely, 70 cm by 100 cm.After the plants begin to bear fruit, the first 1-2 fruits must be cut off for summer consumption to the table. Then leave 3-4 fruits and 3-4 leaves on the plant after the last fruit, then remove the growth points of the shoots. Also remove all flowers and ovaries from the plant so that it does not waste energy. Leave the fruits on the plant until autumn. They should be removed before the onset of frost, cutting off with a stalk.
Sometimes you can find recommendations for the planting density of such plants 50x70 cm or 70x70 cm, and even two or three plants per hole. It is better not to thicken the plants, because they are less ventilated, and the likelihood of fruit rot, and often stems, increases, especially in rainy weather in late summer and autumn.
Fruits for storage can also be left on fruiting plants. To do this, remove the first 2-3 fruits for summer consumption, then leave 1 fruit on the plants until autumn, and cut the rest, as usual.
If you "wholeheartedly" planted zucchini and now do not know what to do with them, leave 2 fruits on the plant for growth for storage. Such a load will slow down the fruiting of plants. They will cease to overwhelm you with fruits.
For zucchini, it is not necessary to allocate a whole plot. If the plot is small, then the zucchini can be planted in various free "corners" or compacted with them along the edges of the potato planting from the north or east side.
Sometimes in summer there is a prolonged rainy weather. In the morning, the flowers that open are full of water and there is no possibility of manual pollination. This trouble can be avoided by making a shelter over the plants. If this is not possible, then you can do the following: in the evening on the eve, walk along the plot and look at the male and female flowers, ready to open the next day (their flowers are yellow), put on small plastic bags. The next day, in the morning, until 11 o'clock, carry out manual pollination. If the rainy weather does not stop, then after pollination on the female flower, put on the bag again. You can take it off the next day in the evening.
To carry out pollination by hand, you need to pluck the male flower, carefully cut off the petals from it, and gently touch the stigma of the female flower with your anthers. One male flower can pollinate one or two female flowers. In cool weather, pollen may not ripen, then pollination will not occur.
Seedless squash culture
In a seedless culture, holes are made on a prepared bed, each of which is additionally filled with a handful of humus and a pinch of ash, everything is thoroughly mixed with the soil, and 2-3 seeds are sown at a distance of 5-6 cm from each other, if they are not hatched. The seeding depth on light soils is 6-9 cm, heavy loamy soils - 4 cm. If the soil is not moist enough, then 1 liter of water is poured into the hole. After sowing from above, the holes are slightly watered for better contact of the soil with the seeds and mulched with peat, compost or humus with a layer of 2 cm. Later, after emergence, leave one, the strongest, plant. The excess is removed or carefully transplanted to other places.
Sometimes black film or non-woven material is used as mulch. They close the ridge after sowing the seeds. Here it is important not to miss the moment of emergence of seedlings in order to cut the material in time and "release" the plants outside. The material can be stored until the end of the growing season, it will keep the soil warm and prevent weeds from growing.Watering is carried out directly into the holes of the film or directly over the non-woven material.
Seedling culture of squash
About growing seedlings - in the article Growing marrow seedlings.
When planting, zucchini seedlings are buried to cotyledon leaves. The best time to disembark is cloudy weather or evening hours. If the weather is dry and the soil is dry, then it should be watered with 10-20 l / m2 of water the day before. You can additionally add a handful of humus or compost and a pinch of ash to the hole, mix everything thoroughly with the soil. Before planting, 1 liter of water is poured into the hole and the seedlings are planted one plant at a time, deepening to the cotyledon leaves. After planting, the seedlings are watered with 0.5-1 liters per plant and the soil around the plants is mulched with peat, humus or compost in the form of a collar 2-3 cm thick and 25-30 cm in diameter.
You can use black film or non-woven material as mulch. It is preliminarily "pulled" on the ridge, then cruciform or round cuts are made in accordance with the planting step, and the plants are planted.
Zucchini culture under temporary film shelters
In the non-chernozem zone, the culture of squash is widespread under temporary film shelters. To obtain the earliest production, these shelters are made over "warm" ridges and 30-day-old seedlings are planted on them. If you are unable to grow such seedlings, you can limit yourself to younger seedlings, or even sow seeds. Temporary shelter can be made over an ordinary, "not warm" bed.
Compared to a sowing crop in open ground, when sowing seeds under cover, the total yield increases by 30-35%, early - by 80-90%, and with seedlings, the total yield increases by 65%, early - 2.5 times. The harvest begins to arrive 10-15 days earlier than in the open field.
As a rule, these are frame-type shelters, for example, arcs made of 6-8 mm wire. They are installed above the rows of plants, deepening into the soil by 25-30 cm, at a distance of 1 m from each other. The distance between the ends of the arcs is 80-100 cm. The height of the finished tunnel above the soil surface is 60-80 cm. For the stability of the frame, the arcs are connected along the top and sides with wire or twine. Cover with foil on top. The edges of the film are fixed with slats, halves of bricks, or earth is poured on them. From above, the film is fixed with arcs, placing them every 2-3 m. Or pegs are driven in and twine is tied to them.
In such a tunnel, single-row sowing or planting is used. In the afternoon, in warm weather, the edges of the film are raised for ventilation. The film is removed completely when warm weather is established or left for the entire season in a cool summer. With an early culture with a landing on May 20-25, a two-layer shelter for the night is often used. At the same time, a double frame of arcs is installed with a distance between the layers of material 15-20 cm.
When sowing with seeds, before germination, the temperature is maintained at least +17 ... + 20оС. After the emergence of seedlings, so that the plants do not stretch, the air temperature is reduced for several days at night to +13 ... + 14оС, in the daytime to +16 ... + 18оС. In the future, the temperature is maintained at +20 ... + 25оС during the day, +16 ... + 18оС at night.
For early production, warm beds and compost heaps give excellent results throughout the growing period, mainly in the northern regions. In the central regions, in the July heat, plants are sometimes oppressed by overheating of the root system and resume fruiting a little later, when the heat subsides. Therefore, it is advisable to plant several plants on ordinary ridges.
During the growing season, the zucchini is fed several times. When sowing with seeds, the first feeding is given when the plants reach the phase of 2-4 leaves, with the same fertilizers as when growing seedlings in pots, only one plant is poured from 0.5 l to 1.0 l of working solution, depending on age, plant development and soil fertility. Cm. Growing marrow seedlings.
In seedling culture, the first feeding is given 12-14 days after planting.
- Before flowering: for 10 liters of water, 0.5 liters of mullein and 1 tbsp. a spoonful of full fertilizer. Consumption - 1 liter per plant.
- During flowering: for 10 liters of water, 1 glass of wood ash and 1 tbsp. a spoonful of full fertilizer. Consumption - 5 l / m2.
- During fruiting: for 10 liters of water 1 tbsp. spoon of superphosphate, 1 tbsp. a spoonful of potassium fertilizer and 1 tbsp. spoon of ammonium nitrate. Consumption - 3 l / m2.
During fruiting, you can carry out two foliar fertilizing with urea at intervals of 10-12 days (for 10 liters of water - 1 tablespoon of urea). Consumption 0.5-1.0 l per plant by spraying on the leaf.
Zucchini responds very well to "green feeding" from fermented weeds. (Cm. Herbal starter cultures for plant nutrition)
Consumption of working solution "Herbal sourdough": before flowering - 1 l per plant, during flowering - up to 5 l / m2, during fruiting - 3-5 l / m2. "EM-extract" is used as with regular watering.
If it is difficult to make fertilizers ourselves, you can use ready-made complex fertilizers: Agricola for seedlings, Solution, etc. Or special fertilizers for pumpkin crops: Agricola No. 5 for cucumber, squash, squash and melon; FlorHumat for cucumbers and zucchini; "HERA" for cucumbers and zucchini; "Sudarushka cucumber" - for cucumbers, zucchini, melons.
In the absence of mullein and chicken droppings, in stores you can buy dry granular chicken manure, liquid extract of cow dung "Biud", or liquid extract of horse manure "Biud", "Bucephalus", "Kaury".
When feeding, you need to make sure that the fertilizer does not get into the leaves.
Zucchini is watered at the root regularly, as the soil dries up. Frequent watering in small doses leads to root, stem and fruit rot. The root system of the squash diverges widely, almost to the edges of the bush itself. Plants should not be watered just under the stem, but the collar should not be watered in young plants with a diameter of 15-20 cm, and in adult plants - 30-35 cm.
Before flowering, watered every 5-7 days at 8-10 l / m2. During fruiting, plants are watered more often, every 2-3 days at 10-12 l / m2. Or, if you visit the country house only on weekends, then at least 15-20 l / m2. The temperature of the irrigation water should be + 22- + 25 ° C. When watering with cold water, mass decay of ovaries and even roots is inevitable.
When watering squash, the root system is often exposed. Therefore, it is good to periodically mulch the soil with a thin layer of humus, compost or peat.
I mulch plantings with zucchini exclusively mowed and dried grass, with a layer of 3-5 cm, almost from the very base of the stem to the edges of the tops as the plant grows. This provides additional nutrition, moreover, dry rotten hay as a result perfectly protects plantings from powdery mildew, while the fruits do not rot. Even in years with strong outbreaks of this disease, it postpones the damage to plants by a couple of weeks. In combination with additional treatments of plants with a solution of milk whey (1: 9) several times at intervals of a week, this gives an even more tangible effect. Mulching with freshly cut grass is dangerous, it may not dry out and provoke rotting.
Along with top dressing and watering, plantings with zucchini must be kept clean of weeds and periodically loosened the ground in the initial period of their growth to a depth of no more than 2 cm. Further loosening is not carried out in order to avoid damage to the root system.
Sometimes the stems of the squash will crack and root rot may begin. You can try to save the situation. Gently shake off the soil from the roots around the stem 10-15 cm in diameter and powder the roots and part of the stem with ash, chalk, lime, crushed coal. Cover the roots with soil carefully. In the future, when watering, try not to get water on the base of the stem. If the weather is unfavorable, then you can use "heavy artillery": for 0.5 liters of water, take 1 teaspoon of copper sulfate or HOM, 3 tbsp. spoons of chalk, lime, or wood ash.Mix everything thoroughly and moisten the roots and the lower part of the stem from the roots to a height of 10-12 cm with a brush or cotton swab. Carefully cover the roots with soil.
Zucchini is very unstable in strong winds that sometimes happen. Because of the large leaf area, it can roll over "from side to side" and break off the stem or damage the roots. After planting the seedlings, I put a broken branch in the shape of the letter "L" over the plant. I stick it gently into the soil, trying not to damage the roots and not press hard on the plant, especially the growing point. When the plant grows a little, I replace the twig with two bent arc-shaped wires, 3-4 mm thick, or take longer and thicker twigs. I look in which direction the plant naturally tilts for further growth, and I grab it with a wire or a broken branch in two opposite places, two leaf petioles almost at the very base. I stick a branch or wire, just like the first time, into the ground. At the same time, the plant turns out to be well fixed.
During fruiting, the plants thicken strongly. It is necessary to periodically remove old yellowing leaves, as well as 1-2 leaves for better lighting and airing of the center of the bush. It is necessary to ensure that the fruits intended for winter storage do not fall on the leaf plate during growth, otherwise they may rot. The leaves should be carefully cut with a pruner or sharp knife at their very base.
Zucchini are removed for fresh consumption and processing by young ones, when they reach a thickness of 8-10 cm, with underdeveloped milk seeds. They are cut with a knife or pruning shears in the morning. Overgrown fruits have a reduced nutritional and dietary value. The skin becomes denser and less edible, the seeds harden.