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Zucchini, Varieties And Growing Conditions
Zucchini, Varieties And Growing Conditions

Video: Zucchini, Varieties And Growing Conditions

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Video: Zucchini Growing Tips I Wish I’d Known | Home Gardening: Ep. 5 2023, February
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How to grow a high yield of zucchini fruits

General information about zucchini

squash
squash

Zucchini. Variety Beloplodny

Due to its high dietary qualities, zucchini is a very useful vegetable crop. The vitamins and minerals contained in fruits have a beneficial effect on the activity of the human body.

Zucchini belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and is an early ripening variety of hard-bore gourd.

The homeland of this culture is South and Central America. In Russia, zucchini gained fame and began to be cultivated since the 17th century.

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The relative resistance to low temperatures during the germination of seeds and early production allows the cultivation of squash in all agricultural zones of Russia. The long fruiting period and the high yield of the squash ensure its profitability in protected ground conditions (film shelters).

It is better to use the fruits in technical ripeness as food for zucchini - 7-10-day greens, but they are quite suitable for consumption even at the stage of biological maturity. They are used to prepare a variety of stewed, boiled, baked and fried dishes. Zucchini fruits are also a valuable raw material for canning, pickling and cooking zucchini caviar.

Easy digestibility and quick digestibility of zucchini make it possible to recommend it for systematic use for people of all ages, make it indispensable in baby and dietary nutrition, metabolic disorders, overweight, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, gall bladder, cardiovascular system … It is included without limitation in anti-diabetic therapeutic diets.

Zucchini surpasses cucumber in the content of chemicals: dry matter - 1.5 times, vitamin PP - 3 times, vitamin C - 1.5 times, potassium - 2 times. Zucchini fruits contain 4-8% dry matter, 2.5-4.5% sugars, 0.4-0.6% fiber, vitamins (in mg / 100 g): C - 11-20; B1 - 0.08; B2 - 0.03; B6 - 0.11; PP - 0.60. Of the minerals, squash contains salts of magnesium, phosphorus, copper. It is a source of potassium, which helps to improve salt metabolism, maintains the alkaline reaction of the blood, reduces the acidity of gastric juice, removes excess water and toxins from the body.

Zucchini is also valuable for its content of pectin substances. Pectin substances are able to bind radioactive and heavy metals into insoluble complexes that are not absorbed in the digestive tract and excreted from the body. It has been established that 1 g of pectin binds from 160 to 420 mg of strontium. Pectin also forms similar complexes with organic toxins that have entered or formed in the body: phenols, amines, etc.

In addition, pectin substances have a wound-healing effect and promote rapid tissue epithelization. Pectin is also effective in the prevention of atherosclerosis. It normalizes the amount of cholesterol in the body, has a beneficial effect on the intracellular reactions of respiration and metabolism, and increases resistance to allergic diseases.

Zucchini seeds contain up to 45% oil, which has high nutritional and medicinal properties. Zucchini seed oil contains a large amount of vitamin E, which regulates oxidation processes in the body, prevents the accumulation of toxic peroxide and other harmful products. Vitamin E has an effect on protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, prevents liver damage, stimulates the muscles, especially the heart, prevents the development of muscle weakness and fatigue.

It has a positive effect on the function of the endocrine and sex glands, it is necessary for the normal course of pregnancy. In folk medicine, marrow seeds, as well as pumpkins, are used as an anthelmintic agent that does not have a toxic effect on the body.

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Botanical characteristics of zucchini

Zucchini. Variety Negritok
Zucchini. Variety Negritok

Zucchini. Variety Negritenok

Zucchini is an annual herb. The stem is ribbed, short, with closely spaced internodes, erect in bush forms and of medium length, creeping in climbing forms. The leaf blade is large, moderately or strongly dissected, five-lobed, green or dark green, often with a white spot. The petiole is long. The stem, leaf blades and petioles are covered with prickly spiny pubescence. Flowers are dioecious (male and female), large in size, up to 20-22 cm in diameter, located on the main stem and lateral shoots. The shape of the flowers is bell-shaped, the color is bright yellow.

The fruit of a vegetable marrow in the phase of technical ripeness (7-10 days old green) has a length of 15-17 to 30 cm, weight 750-950 g. The shape of the fruit is elongated-oval, cylindrical, sometimes with a slope to the stalk, the surface is smooth or slightly ribbed. The color of the fruit can be very diverse - white, light green, light green with a chintz pattern, yellowish cream, bright yellow, green or dark green with a pattern in the form of intermittent stripes, spots and small specks, or black and green without a pattern. The pulp of the fruit is often white, sometimes slightly creamy or lettuce, of delicate consistency, juicy, herbaceous taste or slightly sweetish. The skin is thin and tender.

The fruit in the phase of biological ripeness (30-35 days after setting) is large, weighing 1.5-2.5 kg, has a length of 30 to 50 cm and more. The color of the fruit during ripening and storage changes, becomes creamy, bright yellow, orange with brown stripes; sometimes remains black and green.

The bark is hard, woody. The pulp is coarse, slightly juicy, more often of a light cream color. Seeds are oval in shape, with a rim, 1.3-1.8 mm long, 0.8-10 mm wide, cream-colored.

The bulk of the roots of the squash are located mainly in the arable horizon. The main taproot. A large number of roots of the first and subsequent orders depart from it. The root system of a squash is less developed than that of a pumpkin; it is less drought-resistant.

Requirements for growing zucchini

Zucchini. Emerald grade
Zucchini. Emerald grade

Zucchini. The Emerald

Zucchini variety

is a heat-loving plant. Seeds begin to germinate at + 9 … + 11 ° С, but the optimum temperature for germination is + 22 … + 25 ° С. Under favorable conditions, seeds germinate 5-7 days after sowing; at low temperatures, the emergence of seedlings is delayed. For good growth and development of plants, a temperature of at least + 18 … + 20 ° С is needed, but the most optimal temperature is + 23 … + 25 ° С.

Exposure to swollen zucchini seeds to variable temperatures, as well as hardening of young plants, make them less demanding for heat and more resistant to adverse weather conditions. Zucchini plants can withstand a short-term drop in temperature to + 5 ° C, at -1 … -20 ° C they die. Prolonged cold snaps up to + 10 … + 12 ° С at the beginning of the growing season disrupt the supply of nutrients and water, the intensity of respiration, the normal passage of the process of photosynthesis, which leads to a slowdown in plant growth, they turn pale and turn yellow.

Plants show the highest demand for air temperature during flowering and fruit formation. Low temperatures during the period of differentiation of generative organs lead to a lag in the formation of male flowers, and prolonged drops in temperature below + 12 ° C can cause degradation of the ovules. During the fruiting period, a decrease in air temperature to + 14 ° C and below, especially at night, when there is an outflow of organic matter from leaves into fruits, negatively affects their formation and growth.

Zucchini is a short day plant, photophilous, reacts negatively to shading. Insufficient lighting leads to the formation of a weakened root system, an insufficiently formed leaf apparatus, and, therefore, significantly reduces the accumulation of nutrients in the fruits and their yield. The high demand for illumination is most pronounced during the period of flowering and fruit formation.

Natural light when grown in open ground satisfies the needs of a vegetable marrow, a lack of lighting is observed when the plants thicken, as well as when they are grown in the aisles of the garden or other shaded places.

Zucchini is a moisture-loving culture. He spends a lot of water during all periods of his growth. The rapid growth of vegetative mass can only take place with sufficient moisture supply. With the beginning of the formation of ovaries and the growth of the first fruits, the period of the greatest need for water begins. Violation of the water regime during this period leads to a delay in flowering, the formation of a large number of male flowers, a suspension of fruit growth and a partial fall of the ovaries.

At this time, plants do not tolerate even a short-term drought and need irrigation. Excessive moisture also has an adverse effect. With an excess of moisture in the soil, the respiration of the roots is disturbed, their oppression occurs and the absorption capacity decreases.

For the cultivation of vegetable marrow, highly cultivated sandy loamy light and medium loamy soils with a high humus content are most suitable. Zucchini tolerates moderate soil salinity. The optimal reaction of the soil environment for him is neutral (pH 6-7).

The intensity of the growth and development of squash plants largely depends on their supply of nutrients. Zucchini is very picky about soil fertility and is very responsive to the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers, as well as microelements: boron, copper, manganese, zinc, etc.

The nutrient requirements of the squash differ significantly in growth phases. Throughout the growing season, and especially at the beginning, he needs nitrogen. Nitrogen plays an important role in the formation of the leaf apparatus, and, consequently, in the fruit yield. With a lack of nitrogen, the leaves acquire a yellow-green color, are delayed in growth, the budding of flower buds decreases, the fruits grow shortened, pointed.

Plants need phosphorus for the formation of vital compounds in cells, the growth of the root system, the formation of fruits and seeds. It increases the resistance of plants to adverse weather conditions. Lack of phosphorus leads to a weakening of growth, the upper leaves become small, dense, watery spots appear on the lower ones. Phosphorus is well retained by the soil, so it can be applied in advance, with deep soil cultivation. With a decrease in soil temperature, the assimilation of phosphorus becomes difficult, therefore, during cold snaps, the squash needs additional provision with phosphorus in an easily accessible form.

Potassium plays an important role in plant metabolic processes. It participates in the formation of protein from mineral nitrogen, activates about 40 enzymes, affects the intensity of water absorption and the state of turgor. The lack of potassium reduces the resistance of plants to fungal diseases and drought, ammonia nitrogen begins to accumulate in the leaves, which has a toxic effect and causes tissue death.

The first sign of potassium starvation is yellowing, and then the browning of the edge of the leaves, the so-called marginal burn. Sometimes the sheet becomes corrugated. Often potassium starvation occurs after liming the soil, since the predominance of calcium cations in the soil solution reduces the absorption of potassium.

Boron is the most important trace element for squash. It increases fruit set and yield, increases resistance to fungal diseases. The most critical period for boron deficiency is the onset of fruiting. During this period, squash plants are very responsive to foliar feeding with boron.

Copper, magnesium and molybdenum are also important for the growth of the squash. They affect nitrogen metabolism in cells, participate in photosynthesis and respiration.

Zucchini varieties

Zucchini squash
Zucchini squash

In the Non-Chernozem zone, varieties with a single-stem type of bush are the most promising. They are characterized by a large number of female flowers, early maturity, high yield, white, green and yellow fruit color.

Emerald. A type of zucchini. The variety is early maturing, high-yielding, cold-resistant, predominantly female flowering, prone to parthenocarpic fruit setting. Bush type plant. The fruits are bright green, long, attractive in appearance. Good taste, suitable for long-term storage.

Favorite.A type of zucchini. The variety is early maturing, high-yielding, cold-resistant, predominantly female flowering, prone to parthenocarpic fruit setting. Resistant to a complex of diseases. Bush type plant, compact. Fruits are green, long, small in diameter with a small seed chamber.

White-fruited. The variety is early maturing, high-yielding, cold-resistant, with amicable fruiting. It is characterized by a large number of female flowers per plant. Bush type plants. The fruit is white, cylindrical, slightly faceted.

Kuand.The variety is early maturing, high-yielding, resistant to low temperatures, as well as to temperature extremes during the growing season; slightly affected by gray mold. Bush-shaped plant. The fruit is variegated green, smooth, cylindrical, running towards the stalk. Differs in good transportability, suitable for long-term storage.

Pheasant. A type of zucchini. The variety is medium early, surpasses many well-known varieties in yield. Bush type plant. The fruit is dark green cylindrical. It is appreciated for its high commercial qualities and suitability for long-term storage.

Negro child.A type of zucchini. An early ripening variety with a consistently high yield. Cold resistant. Bush plants, compact. Fruits are cylindrical, dark green, long, small in diameter with a small seed chamber. Fruiting is uniform throughout the harvest period. The taste is excellent.

Skvorushka. The variety is early maturing, high-yielding with amicable fruiting and intensive fruit growth. Bush-shaped plant. The bush is sparse, with weak pubescence of leaves and petioles. The fruit is dark green, cylindrical, of medium length. Differs in good transportability, suitable for long-term storage.

Tintoretto.The variety is fruitful, early maturing. Bush plant. The fruit is light green, round, ribbed. It is appreciated for the original shape of the fruit, excellent taste. Recommended for home cooking and cooking squash caviar.

Tsukesha. The variety is early maturing, fruitful, from germination to technical ripeness 38-44 days. It is characterized by a large number of female flowers per plant. Bush-shaped plant, single stem. The fruit is oblong-cylindrical, dark green, smooth. The taste is excellent.

Black handsome man. Medium early high-yielding variety. The plant is bushy, compact. Fruits are cylindrical, smooth, glossy, thin-crusty, dark green, almost black. It is appreciated for long-term fruiting, high yield and suitability for long-term storage.

Bumblebee. Early maturing variety. Bush type plant. The fruits are cylindrical, variegated green, the pulp is firm, tender. Differs in a compact bush, original color of fruits, very delicate taste and the ability to long-term storage after harvest. Possesses excellent culinary qualities.

Little boy. An early ripe variety that tolerates low temperatures well. Bush plant. The fruit is cylindrical, smooth, white. The pulp is light, dense, tender. It is appreciated for its cold resistance and high culinary qualities.

Read the next part. Growing zucchini in the open field →

Tatiana Piskunova,

Candidate of Agricultural Sciences,

VIR named after N.I. Vavilov

Photo by the author

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