Cucurbitaceae family is notorious for their space-hogging and sprawling habit due to which they required a…
Zucchini is a seasonal vegetable belonging to the group called summer squash. These squashes grow as annuals in nearly every climate during the summer period of the year. It takes only 1 or 2 zucchini plants to supply enough squash for one family. Because this can be an annual vegetable, the lifespan of the zucchini plant lasts just for the summer and a part of the autumn.
Zucchini squash produces long slender fruit that is picked and eaten while still immature. The vines are large and need much growing room, except for those that have room. It is cost-effective because one plant can produce between 3 and 9 pounds of fruit. When zucchini plants get enough sun and water they will still produce fruit for several months.
Every plant completes its growth in the given degree days. The degree varies for both vegetative and reproductive growth. After completion of the given degree days of the vegetative phase the plant move to the reproductive phase. These degree days mainly depend on several factors. Here in this article, I will tell you how long does zucchini take to grow along with the factor affect the growth rate.
The life span of zucchini:
Zucchini may be a short season crop and it takes about 60 days for the plant to achieve maturity. To induce an early start, either start seeds indoors, planted in peat pots or under cold protection like plastic grow tunnels outside in early spring. Zucchini plants do not grow well until both soil and air temperatures are above 60oF. Once the weather turns cold in fall, zucchini plants begin to shrivel up in response to lower temperatures and lack of sunshine.
Shortened life span:
More than just extreme temperatures can shorten the lifetime of zucchini plants. An excessive amount of water can cause zucchini plants to rot from the roots up. The soil must be moist throughout the season, but not waterlogged or completely dried out. Garden pests can even destroy the vines. Insects to appear out for are cucumber beetles, squash, bugs, squash borers and stink bugs.
Flower to harvest:
Zucchini like all summer squash grow quickly. It only takes 4-8 days before your zucchini is ready for harvest after you see flowers on the plant. You will wait longer if you wish larger zucchini but the squash is also over large and seedy to be palatable.
Seed to harvest:
Zucchini does not take long to grow after you plant the seeds within the ground. Reckoning on the range, you will be ready to harvest the plants anywhere from 42-52 days after planting. Now includes blooming and pollination of the flowers. You must plant the zucchini that the two months it is growing are during the hotter months of the year because summer squashes do best when the air and soil temperatures are above the 70oF.
Factors affect the growth of the zucchini:
Several factors contribute to the growth of zucchini.
These factors are usually relating to environmental factors. If these condition change from the optimum level may affect the growth of the zucchini. These factors are:
Zucchini plants grow best in temperate ecological conditions, where the temperature is up to 100o but not less than 60o F. Plants usually flourish in garden spots that receive 6-10 hours of sunlight day by day. They usually seeded after the threat of frost has passed, because the frost affects the physiological process of the plants, as a result, the growth of the zucchini slows down.
Zucchini plants are at risk of frost and excessively high temperatures. The most effective soil temperature for zucchini seed germination is 55-60oF. Germination fails plants are between 65 and 75oF. Growth slows down when the temperatures are cooler. Freezing temperatures kill zucchini plants.
The optimum soil pH for the proper growth of the plant is 6 and 7.5. if the pH increase or decrease then the optimum level may affect the growth of the zucchini or may cause biological stress for the zucchini.
Availability of water at the right time also protect them from drought condition which ultimately improves the growth of the zucchini Plant the zucchini in a locality near a water supply, so you will keep the zucchini watered regularly. Water the plants deeply by applying them 1 inch of water per week. Zucchini needs a minimum of 4-6 hours of sun daily, so confirm the growing area is aloof from trees, buildings and other structures that would shade the plants. They can grow in a variety of soils but well-drained soil is best. Also, avoid planting them in weedy areas.
You can also improve the growth of the plant by providing mechanical aid, otherwise the growth of the zucchini effect.
Poor pollination is the most typical reason for poor zucchini growth. Zucchini have both male and female flower on the same plant and the pollination mainly depends on the visiting of bees. If you do not have enough bees visiting your garden to successfully pollinate them then it will ultimately delay the process of zucchini growth and also affect its yield. To overcome this problem, you can manually hand pollinate them.
Several times the pollination remains unsuccessful due to the different positioning of flowers on the same plant. This also decreases the growth rate of the zucchini because with time the environmental conditions also vary which affects the growth of late setting fruits.
Both female and male flowers grow on each zucchini plant, with a minimum of 3 male flowers for one female flower. It is easy to inform the difference between the two. Female squash flower bears a small fruit at the bottom, while male flowers grow on long stems. Each male flower contains a pollen-producing stamen within the center. Bees carry pollen from male flowers to female flowers but to improve the growth you can pollinate flowers by hand. Simply bring to a halt a male zucchini flower, remove its petals and touch the stamen to the center of a female flower. Always use only freshly opened flowers and hand pollinate within the early morning. The feminine flower is only receptive for only one day, so pollinate them as soon as they opened.
Harvest the fruit:
As you know normally squash harvested when it is young or tender so harvest the fruit at the proper time so the excess food and nutrient rather than accumulation in the same fruit may move to the newly formed fruit which also accelerates the growth of zucchini. Harvest zucchini when it is between 4 and 8 inches long and about 1 ½ to 3 inches in diameter. Zucchini generally takes 35-55 days from planting until harvest. Zucchini fruit grows rapidly up to 2 inches per day so it is best to reap them every other day during the season to get rid of fruit. Use a pointy knife to chop it from the vine. Wear gloves if possible because the vines have a prickly stem.
Once pollinated, the small fruit at the bottom of the feminine flower grows up to 1 inch per day. In its growth another environmental factor affect which may accelerate the growth if provided in optimum range or also affect if increase or decrease beyond the optimum level. It should be harvested when it is still young and tender, usually between 6 and 8 inches long. The fruit is sometimes able to pick in about 60 days. Picking zucchini encourages growth. To slow fruit production, leave one or two zucchinis on the plant. When left on the plant too long, the seeds become tough and therefore the flesh too fibrous to enjoy.
By providing the all above mention factor in an optimum range you can get fresh squashes right after 60 days of the plantation.
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