You can learn how to grow zucchinis vertically so you can still enjoy freshly picked ones anytime. Zucchinis are among the most popular vegetables that you can see in home gardens because aside from the fact that they’re packed with nutrients including potassium, folate, and vitamin A and C, they’re also easy to grow and care for. However, people usually think twice about growing zucchinis because the size of their garden may not accommodate the growth of the plant.
Growing zucchinis vertically is a great alternative if you’re short on space in your garden. Its big leaves can quickly cover an entire space, and its vines could take over much of your garden space in no time. By planting it vertically, not only will you be able to save some space, but weeding and harvesting will also be easier for you.
Step-By-Step Guide on Growing Zucchinis Vertically
Zucchinis grow quickly if they’re planted correctly and receive the proper amount of nutrients. While they practically grow themselves, it doesn’t mean that they won’t need additional care from the growers.
If you’re planning to plant your Zucchinis vertically, here are the steps you should follow:
Step #1. Grow your seeds
Zucchinis grow best in warm environments, so it’s better to start planting your seeds after the danger of frost in your area has gone, usually in the last days of May or early June. Make sure to provide enough space in between your plants (at least 2 to 3 feet) as they could grow big and compete with each other for the nutrients in the soil.
Start by planting your zucchinis in cardboard egg trays filled with moist potting soil. Make sure to water the seeds every day to keep the soil moist. Within a few days, your zucchini seeds will start to sprout.
You can also sow your seeds directly in a big pot if the temperature outside deems it warm enough for the zucchini seeds to grow. Be sure to limit one seed per slot to make sure that they won’t compete for soil nutrients as they grow.
Step #2. Harden your seedlings
Seedling hardening is the process of exposing your transplant seedlings gradually to the outside environment. Once the seeds start sprouting, it’s vital to harden them before transplanting them into your big pots.
To do this, expose your zucchini seedlings to the temperatures outside by placing them on an area where they can get indirect sunlight, like under the trees. Do this for four days and on the fifth or seventh day, place them under direct sunlight. Your seed should be able to withstand direct exposures to the sun by the seventh day.
Step #3. Transplant your zucchini seedlings
Once your zucchinis start sprouting and are ready for transplantation, start transferring them to the big pots. The soil should also be compost-rich and well-draining. Zucchinis are considered as ‘big feeders’, meaning they will consume a lot of nutrients as they grow.
Cut your egg tray into individual cups and transplant it directly into the soil in the pots. You don’t need to remove the cardboard trays are these are biodegradable.
Step #4. Water them generously
As your Zucchini grows, it will need a lot of water. If you’ve started planting early in spring, you may only have to water your plant once a week. When the temperatures start getting warm again, increase the frequency of your watering to about twice or thrice a week to keep the soil moist.
Step #5. Set-up your wooden stakes
The next and most important step in planting zucchinis vertically is to set-up the stakes where your Zucchini vines will crawl. Place three wooden 4-foot stakes at around your container. When your Zucchini grows, be sure to tie the stalks to the stakes and prune the lower leaves as this will encourage the development of new leaves on the upper part of your Zucchini.
Benefits of Growing Zucchinis in Hobby Greenhouses
Zucchinis love growing in warm environments. While other plants may be able to tolerate a little frost in the cold season, Zucchinis can be injured by drops in the temperature. That is why if you’re planning on enjoying your zucchini harvest all year long, it’s best to plant them inside a hobby greenhouse.
Here are some of the benefits of growing zucchinis in a greenhouse:
Extended growing period
Hobby greenhouses are enclosed with either a plastic protective film or fibreglass. That and the exhaust fans work together to create an internal environment that is warm enough to foster the growth of your zucchini plants.
Zucchinis aren’t immune to pests. Aphids are among the most common pests out there that can affect your zucchini plant. By keeping them inside a hobby greenhouse, you can reduce the chances of them getting infested with aphids and compromising their yield.
Protection from extreme weather conditions
Strong winds can also knock your Zucchinis out, especially if you’re planting them in a pot or planter. With a hobby greenhouse, you’ll be assured of weather protection for your plants – be it strong winds, heavy rains, and hailstorms.
Learn How to Grow Zucchinis Vertically
Now that you have an idea of how to grow zucchinis vertically, it’s time to put your knowledge into action. Regardless of whether you have a huge garden or a small one, planting zucchinis vertically will get you to enjoy a lot of benefits including smarter use of space and easy weeding. It’s even better to start planting your zucchini seeds in a greenhouse where you can tweak the temperatures to match the needs of your plants.