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Planting and caring for zucchini: tips on how to properly water, fertilize and protect the plants from infestation.

You have successfully pre-pulled your zucchini plants in the spring and then planted them in the garden. What now? Of course, the work is not yet done, because in order for the plants to eventually produce abundant fruit, proper care is the key. We have summarized the most important three things for you. Pay special attention when planting and caring for zucchini, and you should have no major problems with plant care. This is because zucchini plants are actually quite insensitive.

Proper zucchini care – Water, fertilize and protect.

Planting and caring for zucchini - Important tips for healthy plants.

So with the right care, which you should not underestimate even despite insensitivity, you will get large, juicy and above all healthy fruits. The following three things you should do right :

This is what you should know about fertilizing

Use slow release fertilizer with nitrogen and later with potassium

You may already know that zucchini plants grow quite fast. Of course, this also means a huge effort, for which the plant needs sufficient nutrients and you can supply them. Which fertilizers are best and which are not?

  • Use slow-release fertilizer, because it is not only more sustainable, but also, as the name suggests, provides the plants with sufficient nutrients for a longer period of time, while also promoting the good microorganisms in the soil.
  • In the second growth phase, that is, when the plants come outside, they have a great need for nitrogen. It promotes the growth of the leaves, so that the plants quickly gain size and strength.

Planting and caring for zucchini - Fertilizing with compost before planting.

  • As soon as the first flowers form, supply the zucchini again with potassium, which subsequently also benefits the fruits.
  • Do not use mineral fertilizers, because they provide the zucchini with the necessary nutrients, albeit very rapidly, only for a short time. But this is not enough for them, so you will be forced to re-fertilize more often, which in turn carries the risk of overfertilization. They are also less beneficial to the environment. For example, a mineral fertilizer commonly used in the garden is blue corn.
  • Zucchini in pots benefit from an organic liquid fertilizer, as they cannot incorporate compost or similar into the soil there while growing.

Planting and caring for zucchini – How do you go about fertilizing properly?

Planting and caring for zucchini - Proper watering, fertilizing and preventing pests.

You do not need to additionally fertilize the plants in the period between sowing for pre-growing and transplanting outdoors. They are sufficiently supplied for this period. However, before moving outdoors, you should prepare the garden soil by mixing it with a combination of compost and slow-release fertilizer. The zucchini plants will not need more than this until they start to produce flowers and zucchini – about two months later.

Planting and caring for zucchini – water properly!

Zucchini, like tomatoes and cucumbers, are among those vegetables that require quite a lot of water so that the fruits can also become sufficiently juicy. The firmness is also determined by this. Sufficient water is therefore essential. In addition, if the plants are exposed to drought for a long time, they will not be able to form many flowers. And fewer flowers, of course, means fewer fruits. How to water correctly?

  • During normal weather 1 to 2 times; more often during summer heat.
  • No cold water; if it is below 10 degrees cold, it will harm the zucchini plant
  • Ideally, water in the morning or even in the evening, so that the plant can absorb the moisture before the water evaporates due to the heat; in no case during the day, when the sun shines strongly
  • Water close to the ground and do not wet the plant, otherwise the risk of fungal infection increases

Store soil moisture by mulching

Mulch zucchini plants to retain moisture in the soil

Especially in the summer, it would of course be beneficial if you could store water in the soil for longer, saving yourself frequent watering on the one hand, and not having to worry if you do forget or don’t get around to it. Well, you can actually do that by simply adding a layer of mulch. You can learn all about mulching in this article, among others .

Properly care for zucchini – Protect them from pests and diseases.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry much about these problems when planting and caring for zucchini. In fact, they are quite hardy and not very susceptible, especially if you do everything right when it comes to the points mentioned above. Nevertheless, the weather can also throw a wrench in your plans and make the season a little more difficult. Especially rainy summers favor an infestation of the plants. What is typical for zucchini plants and what preventive measures can you take?

  • Aphids : Are less of a concern, as they can also be controlled with natural means or beneficial insects. You can learn more about them in our article. Nettle liquid manure is very effective in the fight against these pests (for spraying), while also providing nutrients to the plants and making them more resistant to diseases.
  • Blossom and fruit end rot: avoid calcium deficiency, due to which the fruits begin to rot. Lime is best for this purpose. If you have already noticed rot, you can combat it with pure calcium fertilizer.
  • Powdery mildew: Affects the upper and lower sides of the leaves in the form of a white coating, especially when there is excessive moisture. So this powdery mildew can be promoted by a humid climate as well as by wetting the leaves when watering. You should remove and dispose of infested leaves immediately, otherwise the fungus will continue to spread.

Typical diseases include powdery mildew, gray mold, yellow mosaic, fruit end rot

  • Gray mold: This fungal disease is again noticeable on the fruit. Warm, humid weather provides ideal conditions for disease. But also, if the plants were planted too close to each other and good ventilation after rain is not guaranteed, this fungal disease can develop.
  • Zucchini yellow mosaic: aphids and non-disinfected garden tools can spread this disease from another plant to your zucchini, causing the shoots to not develop well. Yellow mosaic can be recognized by the discolored leaves in yellow-green pattern. Unfortunately, it is not enough to remove infested parts of the plant. The complete plant should be disposed of.

Water without wetting the leaves of the plant to prevent fungal infection