Zucchini is a great vegetable to grow even if you are a novice gardener. Not only can this veggie be used in many tasty dishes, but it is also one of the easiest vegetables to plant.
One of the best things about zucchini is that it grows in abundance. Most people find that they have more than enough zucchini even after one harvest.
Another great thing about it is that it grows rapidly. From planting to harvest, zucchini can be produced within 30-60 days.
With prices of vegetables and fruits on the up-rise, planting your own zucchini may be a wonderful option to have.
If you are just starting off and feel that you do not have ample space to garden, companion planting may be right for you.
Companion planting is utilizing a space that you have by planting products that are compatible with each other in close proximity.
One of the advantages of companion planting is that you maximize the space that you have to plant. The other advantage is the positive effects that certain plants have with one another when growing together.
Companion planting zucchini and squash varieties with various plants can help ward off pests and enhance their growth.
Best Companion Plants for Zucchini
Some plants complement each other. When companion planting zucchini, you must keep in mind what other plants complement the growth of it.
Some plants that grow well with zucchini include:
These zucchini companion plants help in various ways, by either bringing something that the plants need to thrive or by deterring pests and insects.
Knowing which plants complement it will surely improve production.
What Can You Not Plant Next to Zucchini?
Although the zucchini has several plants that make good companions, there are a few plants that are considered bad companion plants for zucchini. These include:
Potatoes. Potatoes have a negative effect on many crops that are planted near it, so it is usually advised to plant potatoes by themselves.
Pumpkins. Planting pumpkins, which is a member of the same species, near zucchinis should be avoided due to the risk of cross-pollination.
Cross-pollination is when one plant of the same species pollinates the plant of another. This cross-pollination can have negative effects on the vegetable and create a sub-par product.
There are several ways that you can plant zucchini. You can either plant the seed directly in your desired growing spot or transplant a seedling (a small plant that comes from the seed).
Zucchini should be planted in warm and moist soil. That is why it’s best to plant it at the beginning of spring.
When planting from its seed, keep in mind that you may want to start by planting it inside, depending on the weather. After 4-6 weeks, you can transfer your seedlings outside.
While it may be fun and interesting to watch the plant grow from scratch, some may choose to go with the faster route of acquiring a seedling. That way you are guaranteed that your seed has already germinated and sprouted.
Once you are ready to plant, you must then find the perfect location. Zucchinis thrive in areas that give off plenty of sunlight and areas that give them enough space to grow.
After you have chosen the right area to plant your zucchini, you can then prepare your soil.
If you have decided to plant the seed directly, your seed must be planted half an inch into the soil. If you are planting a seedling, keep ample space between each plant.
Care and Maintenance
Once you have planted your zucchini, you must be prepared to care for it. The vegetable is known as one of the easiest to grow. However, there are some things that you must do to assure that your plant is well cared for.
For zucchinis to flourish, they need to be well-nourished. Their nourishment comes from the soil in which they are growing as well as the sunlight that they receive.
Finally, remember that for the plant to produce, it must be pollinated. To help your zucchini pollinate you may wish to plant some zucchini companion plants such as peppermint and corn.
Both of these plants have the benefit of attracting bees, which will, in turn, pollinate your zucchini.
Pests and Disease
A major part of maintenance when it comes to gardening is prevention. Like many other plants, you must take heed to protect your zucchini from pests and diseases.
Pre-planning is the key to avoiding these risks that may arise when planting.
Simple things like preparing your soil and doing crop rotation can help you avoid losing your crop due to pests and disease.
If after pre-planning and you still encounter issues with your zucchini crop, there are some things that can be done to salvage your crop.
Where to Buy Seeds
The seeds of zucchini and zucchini companions can be found at many different locations.
Of course, you may want to do your research to make sure that you are getting the best quality seeds for your money.
The benefits of planting and growing your own zucchini, outweigh any small issues that may arise.
It is a great starter vegetable for people who are new to planting and a great way to encourage children to start planting. It’s also a great addition to the field of those who have been planting for years.
Regardless if you have a large space or a space that would require companion planting, zucchini is a great crop to start with.