How to Trim a Zucchini Plant
Zucchini is found in most summer vegetable gardens. Known for their large leaves, bright yellow blossoms and large green vegetables, zucchini plants do well in most environments and can be planted and harvested twice a year. The zucchini plant’s large leaves often shield it and other plants in the garden from getting sun. In addition, they can also cause crowding in the garden and prevent adequate circulation. To prevent these situations from occurring, you can trim back the zucchini leaves.
Find any leaves that are brown or dead. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the leaves’ stems. Cut them off as close to the base of the plant as possible.
Look for the largest leaves. Cut them off as close as possible to the base of the plant.
Cut the leaves until you are satisfied with the size of the plant. Do not cut all of the leaves off; allow the leaves that are closest to the fruit to remain. Leave at least half of the plant’s foliage untouched.
Zucchini Plant Care
Zucchini needs a location with full sun and fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Zucchini foliage becomes tattered and torn when exposed to strong winds, so provide a protected location in windy areas. Feed the plants when the leaves turn pale or the stems appear week. Fertilizers high in nitrogen reduce the yield. Harvesting regularly keeps the plants producing. Prevent squash bugs by eliminating weeds in and around the garden and covering the plants with row covers immediately after planting. The fruit hides under the leaves, so check each plant carefully every day or two once the plants begin to produce. It's not unusual to find a foot-long zucchini that was overlooked for days.
You can begin trimming when the plant has grown between four and six zucchini.
- You can begin trimming when the plant has grown between four and six zucchini.
- Sharp knife or pruning shears
- The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Zucchini -- A Treat in the Heat
- Gardening Know How: Pruning Zucchini -- How to Prune Zucchini Squash
- Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening; Pauline Pears
- Burpee Complete Gardener; Allan Armitage
- Rodale's Vegetable Garden Problem Solver; Fern Marshall Bradley