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How to Grow Zucchini Plants

Zucchinis are a winner for being one of the quickest — and easiest — members of the squash family to grow.

Excerpted from Ready, Set, Grow! by DK BooksDorling Kindersley

Grow zucchini plants in full sun and use moist, rich seed compost. The plants will grow to about 2 ft (60 cm) high. The seeds germinate in 1 week, and the zucchinis are ready to harvest in 12 weeks. Zucchini plants are known as a plentiful crop, so you'll have enough to give away.

Materials Needed:

  • propagator
  • zucchini seeds
  • large container
  • potting soil
  • mulch
  • small pot (with holes in base)
  • tomato fertilizer
  • compost tea

1. Grow your seeds in a propagator.

Make a 1/2-inch-deep hole, then push two seeds (on their sides) into the hole. When the seedlings appear, pull out the weakest one. Cover the propagator with a small container that has holes poked through it to create the ideal germinating conditions.

Push Squash Seed into Soil of PropagatorDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Dig a hole.

Dig out a hole in a large prepared container. Once the seedling has grown, you can squeeze the bottle to remove the plant. Place the plant in the hole, firm the soil around it, and water well.

Replant Seedlings in Prepared ContainerDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

3. Add mulch around the plant.

This will help the soil stay moist and weed-free. Make sure the mulch doesn't touch the stem.

Mulch Added Around Plant for MoistureDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

4. Keep soil moist.

Zucchini plants need constantly moist soil, so bury a 6-inch (15-cm) pot that has holes in its base next to the plant. Frequently water into the pot so that the water will flow directly to the roots.

Buried Cup with Holes Self Waters PlantDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Fertilize zucchini plants.

When the first flowers begin to form, feed the plant every 10 to 14 days with a tomato fertilizer and some compost tea. Be careful to avoid overfeeding.

Fertilize Zucchini Plant Once Blooms AppearDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

6. Harvest zucchinis.

When the zucchinis are 4 inches (10 cm) long, cut them at their base. This will encourage more zucchinis to grow on your plant. A fungus called powdery mildew can appear on zucchini plant leaves. Prevent this by keeping your plants well-watered, fed and with space around them for good airflow.

Cut Zucchini at Base to Encourage More GrowthDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Excerpted from Ready, Set, Grow! by DK Books

2010

Dorling Kindersley

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