Updated: Aug 17, 2022
We're going to share how to grow zucchini and all the health benefits. Zucchini is a great vegetable for kids because it's easy to make, tastes delicious, and can be served in a variety of dishes. It also has many practical uses! From summer zucchini recipes like garden burgers or zucchini bread, there are lots of ways you can enjoy this versatile fruit.
Zucchini Sunlight Requirements
Good morning I'm Zucchini! My favorite pastime when it's sunny outside is sunbath and grow. To do this I will need at least six hours of sunlight every day. So choose a location that has the most sun possible.
Zucchini Water Requirements
I need a lot of water too, but don't worry! You can make sure I have enough by watering me at least once or twice per week and making sure to give the soil lots of time between watering's so it has time to dry out before you do it again. When you water me take your time and water the soil deeply around me so my roots will continue to extend further into the soil.
When it's really hot don't forget about me, I may need some extra days of watering. Keep a close eye on me!
Zucchini Soil Type
Now you'll make me a happy little zucchini if you use a soil type that drains well. I love growing in sandy loams and silt as they are good at letting water go through them quickly so there is less chance of me drying out or drowning in the wetness.
To find the right soil for me, you need to have a soil pH of between six and eight. If you're not sure what your pH is, it's easy! You just buy the little testing strips from the garden store or ask somebody who knows how to test for that kind of thing.
Please add compost to your soil for me too. Some people use compost to completely fill their raised bed which is excellent for me! It's like a big pile of dirt that I can grow up in!
Zucchini Seed Starting
You can plant me directly after the last expected frost date or get me started a little earlier. Starting me early will give me more time to grow to maturity so you can enjoy the harvest that I will gift to you for you have raised me.
When planting my seeds in pots or raised beds, it is recommended that you plant them no less than one inch deep and about 18" apart so I can maximize the amount of sun exposure each day, as well as give me plenty of room to stretch out my vines. If you are planting my seeds in your garden, make sure that I am spaced so that I can grow and not get tangled up with other plants.
Zucchini Growing Tips
I have some helpful tips to share so that you can get the most out of your zucchini beds.
Don't forget my days to maturity is under sixty days so that means you can even plant me in the middle of summer and get a fall harvest from me.
Watering: Raised beds dry out more quickly than those on the ground so it's important to make sure that you're keeping up with your watering needs. I like at least an inch of water per week but if you live in a very hot climate you might need to give me two inches of water per week.
I'm a drought-resistant plant so my roots go down deep to find moisture but I need you as an above-ground partner too.
Sunlight: I like to bask in the sun as much as possible so make sure that you're putting me where my leaves can get some morning and afternoon sunshine.
Nutrition and Health Benefits of Zucchini
Now you know what you can do for me so I'll tell you how I can take care of you!
Eating me will be a great source of antioxidants. I contain three carotenoids: alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lutein. These are good for the eyes because they may reduce cataracts and macular degeneration.
I also have high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is good for the immune system. I also contain vitamin A, which helps with eyesight and bone growth.
I'm a low-calorie food. One cup of me(zucchini) has only 25 calories! Zucchini is also low on the glycemic index.
I'm a good source of potassium, and I'm even high in soluble fiber!
Some studies have suggested that eating me may help reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
My nutrients are found to be helpful for cardiovascular health too- you'll want to eat me often if you have heart issues.
How to Eat Zucchini
When it comes time for harvesting and eating me, you can expect the flavor to be mild and sweet. I'm often eaten raw, chopped into salads, or as a side dish with pasta dishes like spaghetti.
- Raw: There are many ways to enjoy raw zucchini, including on top of pizza crusts or blended in a fruit salad alongside other fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes(I taste great with other vegetables). You can also make your own veggie noodles by using a spiralizer to turn me into long ribbons that you can pair with any sauce for an easy weekday dinner.
- As Side Dish: I can be incorporated into all sorts of international cuisine, so there's no shortage of recipes out there for this staple summer vegetable! I taste great in stir-fries, on tacos, or as a side with Korean BBQ.
Zucchini Plant Stages
As I grow I go through three major stages in my life cycle: a seedling, an immature squash, and mature. The first stage begins when I have only two sets of leaves known as cotyledons or seed leaves that form after the embryo has emerged from the soil. Seedlings usually grow rapidly for the first few weeks and then I slow down through my teenage stage and through my short mature age as well. Although my growth slows my baby zucchinis will grow quickly once my flowers have been pollinated.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know below if there’s anything else you want to share! And be sure to subscribe for more updates on gardening.
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