No matter how small your garden may be, zucchini is well worth some space. One zucchini plant can produce an abundance of fruit that can be eaten raw, cooked in a number of ways, or baked into breads and muffins. Since they don’t require a lot of space, you can be creative in deciding where to grow zucchini. Hanging it upside-down from a porch or a patio in a planter is an excellent way to ensure you will have access to fresh zucchini throughout the growing season.
Make an upside-down planter. Cut a hole on the bottom of your plastic bucket or pot with a utility knife. The hole should be in the center, and at least 2 inches in diameter.
If your container has a sturdy handle or hanger, you can use it. If not, drill three if round, or four holes if square, around the top of the container. They should be evenly spaced out and 1/4 to ½ inch from the top edge. Insert an S-hook into each hole, and attach rope or light-weight chain to the other end of each S-hook. Tie the ends of the ropes together, or use another S-hook to gather the ends of the chain, to create a hanger.
Arrange two tables, or two chairs, so that they are the same height but two or three inches apart. Set your planter on them, straddling the two, without obscuring the hole in the center.
Remove your small starter zucchini plant from its starter pot. Hold the root ball so that the stem is sticking out between two of your fingers. Carefully guide the leaves and stems through the hole of the planter with your other hand, so they stick out of the bottom of the planter. Do not let go of the root ball at this point.
Take the two pieces of newspaper. Place one on one side of the stem, and one on the other side of the stem, so they cover the hole to prevent soil from coming out. Begin shoveling potting soil, compost or your favorite growing medium into the container, around the stem. When it is high enough to support the root ball, let go.
Fill the container with potting soil. Cover the top with mulch.
Hang the unit in full sunlight from a hook in an overhead patio, off a balcony railing or from a post. Be sure whatever you are hanging it from is sturdy enough to hold 60 to 80 pounds, as that’s how much the plant can weigh when it’s wet and dripping with growing fruit. The bottom of the container should be at least four feet from the ground, and the top should be low enough so that it is convenient to water and fertilize it as necessary.
Water your zucchini deeply twice each week. Water in the mornings so that the plant leaves will dry before the hottest part of the day, which can steam them, and before night time, which can promote mold and the spread of diseases.
Fertilize your zucchini with an all-purpose water-soluble vegetable fertilizer or manure tea every three weeks. Harvest your zucchini when fruits are six to eight inches in length.
Things You Will Need
- 3-gallon bucket or plastic pot
- Utility knife
- Rope or chain
- Tables or chairs
- Zucchini starter plant
- 2 6-X-6 inch pieces of newspaper, folded in half
- Potting soil, compost or growing medium
- Hand trowel
- Have everything ready on a table and in reach as you begin the planting process, as you will be working for a while with one hand and will be unable to put down the plant to get anything.
- Use a 5-gallon container and plant herbs on the top portion of the container for double-use of the space.
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