Requirements for Optimal Growth
The stems of a mature zucchini plant extend outward and upward for two or more feet. At the end of the stems, the umbrella-like leaves grow so large that sometimes they conceal zucchini. This is the kind of plant all zucchini growers desire. To grow such plants, one must meet these plant requirements:
- Plant when all danger of frost is over.
- Grow in an area that receives six to seven hours of direct sunlight per day.
- Grow in soil that is fertile and well-drained
- Grow in soil that didn’t grow pumpkin, melon, squash, or cucumbers the previous year.
- Keep soil moist, not soggy.
- Do not water the plant’s leaves.
- Eliminate pests often and early.
Compact Bush Varieties
Zucchini compact bush varieties are the perfect size for small gardens and large containers. There are numerous varieties to choose from. The varieties below are some of the best for small area gardens.
This zucchini plant produces 7-inch dark green fruits on a compact bush that usually grows only 3 feet wide and 2 feet high. In about 43 days, the harvest of these flavorful zucchini begins.
Patio Star zucchini is a hybrid specifically bred for container gardening. The spine free plant’s mature size is about half the size of standard zucchini plants. The jade-colored fruit it produces is standard size. About 50 days after sowing the seeds in containers or the garden, the harvest will begin.
Growing vining zucchini varieties is possible even in small garden spaces if grown vertically. Some of the tastiest, high yielding squash do vine and are worth growing upward. Two varieties that are worth trying are:
Table Dainty is an heirloom variety dating back to the late 1800s. This hardy plant is a prolific producer of 6-inch green with stripes of white to yellow fruit. Gardeners report that vines that are not trellised spread all over their gardens.
This Italian heirloom is classified as a zucchini and a pumpkin. The sweet tasting fruits have long slender necks with bulbs at the end. This squash can be harvested as a summer squash when lime green and striped: it can be harvested as a winter squash when solid beige. This plant grows very long vines that should be trellised.