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Planting courgettes is a practice that requires commitment and perseverance and above all the ability to choose. In fact, there are indeed many varieties of courgette existing to be able to plant and grow in the garden or on the terrace of the house. There are cylindrical, round, ribbed, clavate; the peel can be yellow, dark green, light green, uniform or striated. Some, taking into account their ability to enter production more or less rapidly, can be early, semi-early or late.
Conditions for a good cultivation of zucchini
The courgette is a typically Mediterranean vegetable, and as such it prefers a temperate and mild climate. Below 12 ° C the plant stops its development, and at lower temperatures it is even irreparably damaged, especially during the first stage of growth. There temperature ideal ranges from a minimum of 16-18 ° C at night to a maximum of 26-30 ° C during the day. The courgette is also a rather demanding vegetable in terms of hydration: it requires about 6 cubic meters of water for every 10 square meters of land.
The ground ideal for planting zucchini must be particularly fertile, rich in strength old and well fertilized. Of medium texture, sufficiently deep, it must be implemented with a lot of organic substance and that it has no dangerous stagnation of water (typical of clayey soil)
Growing this vegetable means working hard on fertilization. It is in fact a type of vegetable particularly avid of nourishing organic substances, and therefore it is necessary to enrich the soil with at least 35-45 kg of well-ripened compost or manure every 10 square meters of surface. During the processing of the soil to be sown, care, commitment and perseverance are necessary, because the zucchini taproot can reach a lot in length. For this reason, the fertilizer must be buried at sufficient depths allowing the roots to capture nourishment in large quantities; while sowing in postarelle, instead, the fertilizer will be mixed with the soil and buried in the holes.
Taking care of this vegetable is a delicate operation but one of extreme simplicity. First of all it is necessary to practice the thinning in order to leave only the seedling with the greatest chance of survival in each hole. It is also necessary to keep the soil cool for a sufficiently long time by mulching (with non-woven fabric or, more simply, with straw). Mulching also hinders the spread and proliferation of weeds and protects the fruits from direct contact with the ground. Also the topping is very important: when cutting the side shoots when they reach a length of 45-50 cm the rapid structuring of the fruits is favored.
There sowing of this variegated and greedy vegetable can be made, in seedbeds, from March to late April, thus obtaining an early harvest. Placing the seeds in peat pots or cubes of soil and spacing them about 8-10 cm apart, will ensure a sufficiently airy and therefore more luxuriant growth. Instead, the planting will be carried out when the weather permits and that is when there will be no danger of frost and only if the plants have sprouted at least 4-5 true leaves.
The sowing in the open field is generally from April to May on land, as anticipated, well worked, in postarelle at least 15 cm deep and around 35 cm in diameter. The seeds should be placed at a distance of a few centimeters between them and in a number not exceeding 4. Also in this case, the thinning is performed, leaving only a map for each post. Making a quick calculation, we understand that for 10 square meters of vegetable garden it takes 3-4 g of seeds.
Some useful tips
One of the main characteristics of this vegetable is represented by the ability to renew. In the agrarian rotation cycle it is therefore good to cultivate it first, moving the cultivation to another plot after harvesting. In fact, never cultivate it in the same portion of land before at least three years have passed.
Courgette can be grown together with onions, lettuce and climbing beans.
As with any vegetable, as a rule, much attention must be paid to the onslaught of diseases and most parasites. However, like the other curcubitacee "cousins" (pumpkin, watermelon, cucumber, melon), the courgettes suffer a lot from the attack of infesting aphids which, if they are not eradicated in time, ruin the leaves making them irremediably wither. Widespread phytopathologies such as powdery mildew, gray mold and a particular cryptogamic disease called "mosaic" are also very dangerous.
The collection of courgettes is scalar and therefore extends for about 45-60 days. A secret that few people know is that the best time for harvesting occurs when the flower is about to open up. Depending on the region in which the courgette is planted and depending on the climate, this moment can vary considerably. However, when the production of the plants is at full capacity, it is necessary to carry out the harvesting in a systematic and daily way, otherwise the fruits could develop an excessive quantity of seeds and the peel, left too mature, would be intolerably tough and hard.
For each zucchini plant, having the right proportions and taking into consideration the region and the climate, the production varies from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 7 kilograms of fruits