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Growing Zucchini In Arizona

Growing zucchini in Arizona is a viable practice because the state provides the best conditions for this vegetable. According to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, zucchini is a popular vegetable that farmers appreciate due to its high economic value. These summer squashes only take 55 days to harvest and can yield up to 9 pounds of fruit. 

However, it’s essential to note that the hardiness zones in Arizona range from 4b to 10b. This means that Arizona’s environment is arid, and gardeners must protect their crops against varying restricted climates and spontaneous low temperatures. Refer to Krostrade.com and learn how greenhouses are a practical solution against these extreme conditions. 

Growing Zucchini In Arizona

Growing Zucchini In Arizona

In addition to using a greenhouse against harsh climates, you must know the steps in how to grow zucchini in Arizona. These include planting, pollination, watering, and harvesting. The Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County offers various information that farmers and gardeners can use for growing zucchini in Arizona. 

 

Planting

Planting zucchini in Arizona starts in both March and August to make two harvests per year. Since this plant is sensitive to frost, you can use a greenhouse to maintain the temperature over 70°F. This way, you can guarantee healthy growth and development on your zucchini crops. 

At the same time, you want to place the plants in a location where they can get 6 to 10 hours of sunlight every day. You can directly seed zucchini in beds, but to save time and effort, you can also start with plants from the nursery. For the former, check the date of the last frost before planting the seeds at 60°F  and 6.0 to 7.5 pH soil conditions. 

Each plant can have up to 2 feet of space from each other, and you can add liquid fertilizer at 2 to 3-week intervals. You should also check underneath the leaves of the plants for pests and address them early on. Zucchini is an annual plant that can take 35 to 55 days to harvest.

 

Pollination

To encourage and support fruit production, you can intervene with pollination. Dab the stamen of a male plant into the center of a female flower early in the morning before the flowers close. According to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, one can expect times where you might see more male flowers. 

In some cases, you may not need to help with pollination. Some areas are abundant in bees and other pollinators. But if you are doing the pollination yourself, make sure that you leave the stamen intact after you remove the petals. 

 

Watering

Once the fruits and flowers are developing, you must maintain the soil moisture. This means it should not be completely dry nor soggy and watery. If you’re using a greenhouse, remember that you’re watering the soil and not the plant leaves, so skip overhead watering. 

You can water zucchini crops once a week with up to 3 feet of water. In the summer, this can increase to up to three times a week. You can also mulch with organic matter to keep the soil hydrated. 

 

Harvesting

It’s better to harvest immature fruits because further development can cause tough rinds. This lessens the quality of your zucchinis because underdeveloped seeds and soft skin are better qualities for the fruit. The extension also recommends to keep picking the fruits before they rot, so the plant continues to blossom and produce them. 

As for the process of harvesting itself, cut at the stem between the fruit and main stem. This prevents damage to the plant. On the other hand, you can harvest the flowers early in the morning as some people enjoy eating them as well. 

 

Do Zucchini Plants Grow Back Every Year?

Zucchini plants do not grow back every year. Remember that these crops are annuals, so their life expectancy is only for one season. As a gardener, you will need to replant zucchini every year as its lifespan is only from summer through the first few weeks of fall. 

The low temperature and fading light in the fall will kill the zucchini vines. At the same time, do not have too much water on the soil nor let it dry out as this can shorten the plants’ lifespan. In the greenhouse, zucchinis tend to live longer and start diminishing at six months, according to some farmers. 

 

How Much Sun Does A Zucchini Plant Need?

As mentioned earlier, six to ten hours of sunlight per day is best for zucchini plants. This duration of sun exposure will help your crops thrive and produce fruits well. Remember that zucchinis don’t do well in cold and shade, so if they can get up to eight hours of sunlight, that would be better. 

 

How Many Zucchini Can One Plant Produce?

One zucchini plant can produce up to 10 pounds of fruits in one growing season. The more you pick fruits, the longer the plant produces them. Therefore, you’ll see how the plants’ harvests’ output is one reason why many farmers are interested in growing zucchini. 

 

What Vegetables Grow Best In Arizona? 

Other than zucchini, a lot of vegetables also grow best in Arizona. They are carrots, green beans, parsley, peppers, radishes, snap peas, and tomatoes. Arizona growers usually plant these crops between November and March, but it’s best to use a greenhouse to protect against January frost. 

 

Carrots

You can plant carrots every three weeks to have a continuous harvest. In Arizona, this can be from August to April in a sandy and well-drained soil. This vegetable is also a cool-season crop alongside broccoli and spinach. 

 

Green beans

Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the best locations for growing green beans. You can do this in November and start them indoors. After the frost, you can move them outside. 

 

Parsley

Parsley also grows well in Arizona. They grow well in springtime, and you can harvest fresh herbs year-round. Do note that parsley can thrive so well that they can take over the garden. 

 

Peppers

Both bell peppers and hot peppers are suitable for the dry climate, especially in southern Arizona. On the other hand, you can start growing them in the summer months if you live in a colder area. Remember that peppers need full sun, so choose an area that receives it well.

 

Radishes

Alongside other cool-season vegetables, radishes are another winter crop. They can tolerate the conditions in Yuma, Arizona. At the same time, they are quick to harvest since they mature at only 20 days. 

 

Snap peas

Growing snap peas in Arizona is similar to how you’ll grow green beans. However, do note that only plant them when the soil reaches 70°F. Since snap peas are warm-season crops, gardeners must ensure frost protection with them. 

 

Tomatoes

Arizona also grows tomatoes, but the cooperative extension mentioned that farmers stay prepared with some challenges. The water and soil in the desert are not feasible for tomatoes. Still, you can begin with transplants in mid-February in low areas and mid-March in colder regions. 

 

Conclusion

Even though Arizona has four North American deserts, it is still a feasible gardening and farming state. Growing zucchini in Arizona is a viable practice because the state can provide favorable temperatures and conditions for this crop. Two harvests are possible in Arizona by planting in March and late August. 

Freezing conditions such as frost can cause damage to the crops. For warm-season plants, you can protect them in January by starting indoors in a greenhouse. A controlled indoor environment like a greenhouse will allow you to maintain the optimum temperatures for your crops’ health, including zucchini. 

 

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How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

Want to know how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds? Marigold flowers are a mainstay in most of the gardens. They bloom beautiful flowers all season long and they’re easy to grow from seed. Knowing how to save marigold seeds is essential if you want to continue growing them the next season.

Fortunately, harvesting marigold seeds are quite quick and easy. You only need to take the seeds from the flowers and let them air dry before storing them during the winter season. You can pack it up with a container or seed packets to save even more for the next growing season. Some of the marigold flowers are edible and best to mix in your salads to add a distinct flavor to it.

 

Tools You’ll Need to Harvest Marigold Flowers

The tools you’ll need to harvest marigold flowers include a basket or other available containers that can be used in harvesting flowers. You’ll also need some paper towels, a sharp knife, a pair of scissors, or gardening shears.

Since you need to evaluate or describe the process, get yourself some notes. Seed packets can be envelopes or closed-air containers excluding plastic containers and bags.

 

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Here’s how you can harvest marigold plants for flower arrangements and bouquets:

 

Letting Marigold Flowers Dry

It’s important to wait until the right time to collect marigold seeds. You can harvest the seeds when the petals are dry already (when the base of each flower turning brownish). However, make sure there’s still is a bit of green color left in the base of the bloom. If you also wait until it is completely turned brown, it may start to rot or mold. It’s important to wait for the perfect time to harvest marigolds since the timing is crucial to have the right quality of marigold seeds.

Tip in harvesting: While you are harvesting, simply cut each marigold flower heads using your cutting equipment or either pinch it with your finger. However, be sure not to pull the flowers as it can harm the roots of your marigolds.

 

Opening the Marigold

Get your paper towel and set it on a flat surface. After, hold each bloom’s base, pull-off, and discard the petals and leaves of it. Then, you will easily notice the attached seeds inside the base. In the meantime, set the prepared blooms on your paper towels for bulk removal of seeds. You may also use larger towels to manage and accommodate the abundant blooms of your marigolds.

 

Removal of Marigold Seeds

Marigold seeds are likely to have a long, slender, and pointed appearance. Divided ends with black color and white color on the opposite edge. Gather your blooms, pull-off all petals, and leaves, and start pulling the seeds from the base. After getting all marigold seeds, discard the base in a single place like in bins or garbage bags. After sorting, put another paper towel on another flat surface and spread the pulled marigold seeds on it.

 

Drying of Seeds

As mentioned above, let your marigold seeds air dry for about a week in an uncovered paper towel. It will enable them to be preserved even in frost season and will prevent it from getting rot and mold.

 

Seed Storing

After drying the seeds, gather them and start placing them inside your seed packets to prolong their lifespan and will still be used after the frost date. Do not use plastic bags in storing your marigold seeds because it will retain residual moisture, which will affect your marigold seeds and even get rot and mold. To avoid forgetting about your marigold seeds, put a label on it to prevent possible disposal if unlabeled.

 

Using Stored Seeds for Replanting

After storing your collected marigold seeds, it is perfect to plant during the growing season. You can enjoy once again the benefits of it from house beautification to an edible ingredient for your salad.

 

Facts about Marigold Flowers

Marigolds are especially good for repelling insects and pests, making them companion plant for tomatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, and chili pepper because of its pungent scent of some variety. It is amazing having this kind of flow in your plant, imagine you don’t only have a beautiful attractive garden but having also a very natural insect and pest repellent that will protect your plants from any abrogation.

African marigolds have larger flower heads on plants that grow from 10 to 36 inches tall. While French marigolds are smaller and bushier, having only two inches of flower head across on plants and only having six to eighteen inches height. Sizes and colors vary on its classification, having a mixed combination is pretty great, will also add more pleasant and abundant color to your garden.

 

The Benefits of Growing Marigolds in a Greenhouse

Have you ever thought of growing your marigolds in a greenhouse? If you haven’t, it’s time to consider getting a greenhouse.

Greenhouses are great for keeping your marigolds safe from pests and diseases. Marigolds are susceptible to insects and blight, such as caterpillars, aphids, leaf spots, and mildews. You can lower the risk of plant damage by growing your marigolds in a greenhouse.

Additionally, greenhouses can also keep your plants safe from bad weather that could easily damage your flowers.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Knowing how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds is crucial if you’re planning to plant them in your garden. These beautiful flowers that usually come in yellow and orange colors are a great addition to any garden or flower arrangement.

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