Vertical growing is a space saving way to grow zucchini. Zucchini is an invasive vine, so securing it to a support system will keep it from taking over the rest of your garden. Basic growing requirements for zucchini remain the same when growing vertically or on the ground. As a bonus, vertical growing produces higher quality zucchini because it prevents main stem from rotting because of poor air circulation, keeps the fruit from decomposing on the ground, and decreases the risks of disease and pest infestation.
Make small hills in the prepared garden bed using a hand trowel. Each hill should be 8 inches in diameter with approximately 10 inches of space between each hill. Plant two to three seeds in each hill. Moisten the soil with water.
Thin seedlings once they are approximately 3 inches tall. This takes two to three weeks. Remove the weakest seedlings, keeping only the strongest, healthiest plants.
Install trellis behind the row of hills. Prune side shoots so that there is only the main stem. Begin tying plants loosely with jute twine to the trellis, starting approximately 4 inches above the base of the plant. Continue tying the plant to the trellis as it grows, attaching at 4-inch intervals.
Prune side shoots and additional shoots as the main stem reaches the top. This helps the plant to begin blooming and creating fruit.
Remove male flowers, they do not produce fruit. Female flowers can be identified by their golden centers and small, round growth behind the petals. Female flowers grow closer to the stem.
Water frequently keeping the soil moist. Fertilize plants every two weeks until fruit appears.
Harvest zucchini in approximately 45 to 60 days using a sharp knife. Cut the stem 1/4 inch above the fruit.
Things You Will Need
- Prepared garden bed
- Hand trowel
- Jute twine
- Sharp knife
- Male flowers can be sautéed or added to salads and eaten.
- Wear gloves when harvesting; many varieties have small spike-like hairs on the stem.
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