Zucchini is a type of pumpkin with hard bark but not very delicious. It is the earliest and most cold-resistant. South America, more precisely, the territory of modern Mexico, is considered the homeland of zucchini. The locals ate only vegetable marrow seeds, probably like we now eat pumpkin seeds. The zucchini bush is more compact than a traditional one. The lashes sometimes reach one and a half meters and are more decorative.
Likewise, the leaves are large and carved. Zucchini fruits are slightly inferior to pumpkin in the brightness of colors and shape. You can find them variegated, yellow, green, almost black, and from cylindrical to spherical. Because of that, you need to know how to tell if a zucchini is bad. Therefore, continue reading this article.
How To Tell If A Zucchini Is Bad
- If zucchini is picked from the garden while the fruit is still unripe, it will go bad.
- If zucchini stays on a plant for a long time, it will become tough, lose flavor, and go bad.
- The consumption of bad zucchini has an unpleasant effect on the human body. This effect usually appears after three hours of ingestion.
- A person who has eaten bad zucchini may have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and severe abdominal pain.
- If there are soft spots or discoloration on the zucchini that means it is bad. Rotten zucchini not only taste bad but also can make you sick.
- The slightly rubbery texture of the zucchini indicates that it is bad.
What Are The Benefits Of Fresh Zucchini?
Fresh zucchini contains a lot of potassium, which plays an essential role in maintaining the body’s water-salt balance, the health of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Zucchini also contains iron necessary for synthesizing one of the crucial proteins – hemoglobin. Zucchini is rich in vitamins C, PP, group B, and carotene, which are potent antioxidants and a precursor of vitamin A. Interestingly, zucchini contains more carotene and vitamin C than the usual white-fruited zucchini.
However, the benefits of zucchini are not only this. It is considered one of the most dietary and easily digestible foods. Therefore, it is included in baby food, special diets for patients, and weight loss diets. One hundred grams of zucchini contains only about 25-27 Kcal, zucchini, and even less – 16-18 Kcal. Zucchini can be eaten raw, allowing you to get the most benefits since many compounds are destroyed during heat treatment.
Features Of Growing Zucchini
Zucchini is a cross-pollinated annual cold-resistant and drought-resistant crop of the pumpkin family, the cultivation of which is not difficult. It is essential to growing plants of the same variety next to the seed specimens to avoid hybrids.
Spatial isolation must be reliable. You can use artificial pollination. To do this, transfer pollen from the male (staminate) flower with a brush to the female one. At the rate of 1 male copy for 2-3 females. The staminate flower grows on a straight petiole. At the base of the female, the rudiments of the fruits are visible.
To improve pollination during flowering, the plant can be sprayed with a sugar solution. This includes 1 liter of hot water, 100 g of granulated sugar, and 2 g of boric acid. Or hang jars of honey mixture and stir one teaspoon of water into a glass.
Where To Plant Zucchini
Zucchini is cold-resistant, and in the climate of the middle zone, it grows well in the open field, but for normal development, it needs a lot of sun and a temperature of +15 to +25 ° С. For zucchini, open areas are chosen that are well lit by the sun. In the shade, zucchini grow poorly and bear little fruit. Good predecessors for zucchini are potatoes, cabbage, root vegetables, onions, legumes, and greens.
You cannot plant zucchini in a place where crops of the pumpkin family were previously grown, like cucumbers, pumpkins, melotria, and Momordica. This is because pathogens are easily transferred to the related plants.
Soil for Zucchini
The best soils for zucchini are fertile, well-cultivated, sandy loam or loamy, with neutral acidity or slightly alkaline. Zucchini categorically do not tolerate acidic soils, so such soils should be deoxidized in advance. Zucchini beds are prepared in the fall. The ground is dug onto a shovel bayonet, and organic matter (manure or compost) is introduced in 5-6 kg / m2.
On poor soils, the amount of organic matter is increased to 7-8 kg / m2. Acidic soils are limed, or dolomite flour is added. You can also use wood ash for deoxidation, which is added when planting zucchini to each hole (30-40 g). In the spring, the soil prepared from the fall is again dug up, water with a warm solution of potassium permanganate, and 20 g of ammonium nitrate per 1 m2 is added.
Zucchini is sown with seeds directly into the open ground. You can start planting in the second decade of May if the soil has already warmed between +14 and + 16 ° С and there is no threat of frost; the latest date for sowing zucchini is June 15th. To lengthen the yielding period, you can sow zucchini in several stages with weekly breaks.
The seeds can be sown dry, but it is better to germinate by keeping them in wet gauze for a day or two. Dense tissue is not suitable for this purpose. This is because the roots quickly grow into it, and they will have to be broken off to separate the seeds. To improve germination and accelerate plant growth, you can soak dry seeds in Epin’s solution (1 drop per 50 ml of water) before planting.
Before planting zucchini, moisten the soil, then make holes. The distance between them should be such that each plant has at least 0.5 m2 of space. A little humus is poured into each hole, a pinch of wood ash mixed with the ground. Then two seeds are placed in each hole in case one of them does not arise. Planting seeds on heavy soils are 3-5 cm, and on light soils, 5-7 cm.
Zucchini becomes the favorite plant, which is grown at home. It is rich in potassium, copper, carotene, and vitamin C. Also, it is easily digested because it has tonic, choleretic, diuretic, anti-allergic, and antianemic properties, which enhances intestinal motility. Because of its advantages when consumed, it is eaten by some animals, which we have listed.