Every time I sit to blog, something or the other comes up and here I am almost a month without a post. Anyways, In this post, I am going to write about growing zucchinis. Growing them is one thing and how to pronounce “Zucchini” is another ;).

Why grow Zucchini? Growing zucchini is the only way to get zucchinis here in Bangalore. There are very few shops that sell zucchini and the prices are quite high. This makes growing more interesting.

Zucchini belongs to the same family as Pumpkin. Zucchini is also called as  Squash , Courgette. It also comes in several shapes and colors like yellow, dark and light green with specks on it. Shapes are numerous. Zucchini grows very fast and starts yielding so quickly.

The seeds were sown in small pots like below and they germinated in 4 days. Their cotyledons are huge and they look very good.

11/3/2010

zucchini squash seedlings

1 week old seedlings: 18/3/2010. Remember? I told zucs grow very fast. In just a week’s time. I transplanted when it had one true leaf. It is transplanted into a dust-bin container.

1 week old zuchini squash

In two weeks, this the growth. ( 24/3/2010)

two week old zucchini

In 3 weeks: ( 30/3/2010)

3 weeks after germination

If you observe closely, there is a flower already!! Ok before going any further, I need to mention one thing about squashes( in general gourds). They have separate male and female flowers present in the same plant what is called “monoecious”. So not all the flowers will end up in your plate. Only the female flowers become zucchini. If you have plenty of male flowers, guess what, they are edible. You can google for good recipe using squash flowers.

In just 20 days, the flower is already seen.

MyGarden 1164

8/4/2010: A month old plant, it is huge and takes about 4 sq feet. The leaves started to have a distinct pattern.

one month old zucchini

 

For zucchinis to form, pollination is very essential. You need to have lots of bees around your garden. In case you don’t have many around like in my case. Its time for you to help the plant find its mate. Like I said, Zucs have male and female flowers. But how to identify the sex of the flower?

Female flowers are easily identifiable. They have a immature zucchini behind them and the male flowers just comes empty handed with a thin stalk.

To pollinate, using a small paint brush, touch the brush on the pollen-bearing central core( stamens) and make sure the pollens stick to the brush. Do it in the early morning. Then take the brush and dust it on the centre of the female flower where the pistil is.

Male flower

zucchini male flower

Female flower

zucchini female flower

On successful pollination, the zucchini will start growing  in a very good pace.  Harvest your zucchinis when they are still immature. Don’t let them grow to its fullest size. Younger the better.

pollinated zucchini

I got plenty of zucchinis from just 3 plants. Below is the group picture of Zucchinis with cucumbers, radish and Okra.

zucchini harvest

Zucchini plant doesn’t need too much fertilizer at all. It can grow very well in our normal garden red soil. To grow zucchini, you can use red soil, vermicompost and sand/cocopeat in equal proportions. You can also add a handful of bone meal into the hole in which you are planting seeds/transplant.  Leave plenty of space between two plants.

Ciao

gg

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58 Responses

  1. Hi GG,
    did you make a water hole to the waste container used as pot? Also where did you get the Zucchini seeds?
    Please let me know.

    • Yes there is a drainage hole in the pot. I got mine from National seeds ( Near INDAM in KR Road). You also get seeds in Gandhi Nagar.

    • Assuming the pollination happens you should be getting a fruit in 1 and 1/2 months from the day you sow.

  2. that looks really good – and some fast growth too.
    Will look out for the seeds now. Where is ‘National Seeds’ in relation to the KR Road Indam?

  3. Great post as always. I have always wanted to grow zucchini, your post has inspired me and given confidence that they can be grown in Indian weather.

    BTW how do they taste, I heard they taste just like eggplants?

    Atul

    • Thanks Atul.

      They taste OK. Little bland and has some sort of nutty flavor sometimes. Anil told me that Bajji comes out well with Zucs. Egg plants taste much better ;)..

    • Good question. Same here. It costs around 60-80/kg. If you go to a restaurant and order for zucchini based stir fry/gravy be ready for 200+ rs on that one.

  4. Hi GG,

    Great post as always.

    Is it hydroponically done and also does this grow like a creeper or is it a plant ?

    Regards,

    Deepak

  5. A brilliant effort, as always, gg, both in growing the zucchini and telling us how to do it. The step-by-step info aided by pictures shows how thoughtful you are and also generous with your time.

  6. hi… nice.

    do they take the chennai kind of heat? or fare better indoors?

    can you send me some seeds please? thanks.

  7. Herein you have surpassed all earlier blogs. Simply excellence personified! Please never stop your good work for the sake of ordinary mortals like me. Just one question: How come zucchini needs no N or K fertilisers? CONGRATULATIONS & THANKS.

    • Thanks for the appreciation and motivation.

      I should have been clear. It does need N & K. Its just that it doesn’t need too much fertilizer. It does well with moderate fertilizing.

      GG

    • Ha ha. Nice observation. There is nothing wrong with that Okra. The variety is like that. Its called “Alabama red” a short stout variety that turns read later. My wife calls it “Motu ram”. My other batch of Okra did very well. Will post an update on that soon. Thanks for asking.

  8. Hi GG,

    Would it be possible to grow vegetables with just a combination of peat and vermicompost and not have sand or red mud?
    When you say water soluble fertilizers, what should I be asking for at the shop?

  9. I tried to grow Zucchini twice. Was not even aware of the pollination 🙁

    Also, there were white patches all along the leaves… thanks for the post i will try them again

  10. Hello gg,

    No post since long time!!

    Nowadays i see lot of insects are damaging my plants. Amphids, some tiny black color insects, some fungus (I am not very good at identifying all). May be weather is playing major role.
    Can you give me some tips to keep all these things away from my plants? I don’t mind using mild chemicals for flower /show plants. But also looking for some routine (organic way) for veggie plants.

    Any suggestions?

    Regards,
    Binita

    • Hi Binita, Yes I have to admit that I have been lagging behind when it comes to blogging.
      You can use neem oil mixture to control the sucking insects. Try to keep ants away from the plants and don’t crowd the plants. You can use a yellow sticky card to see if there are flies etc. There are some less toxic insecticides to use for ornamental plants. Pyrethrin is an example.
      For fungal diseases you can use wettable sulfur.

  11. Great work GG. Being from agrl background I should say the first time I saw a Zuc plant is your blog. I have only read aboout them used for pickling in states.

  12. Sorry adding to that previous comment how much do you spend a month on fertilizers? How do you store them being in an apartment. Right now I live in an independent house and have thrown my bags of vermi-compost and cocopeat below the staircase. In a months time I will be moving to an apartment on the fifth floor with only two balconies – one the kitchen utility and another a 10’x4′ one. I would love to do hydroponics but I am afraid of the storage space I will require.

    • How much I spend? I will have to get back to you on that since I buy different fertilizers at different sources at different prices.
      Storing them is a real pain. Esp Compost and coco peat, I store them near the outside my house near the elevator(not a pleasant sight though).Since cocopeat comes as blocks they are easy to store. I don’t stock more since place is a problem. Hydroponics, I have fertilizers stored in one of the cupboard(most of them 1-2 kg packs).

  13. Hi GG:

    Thanks for this update. I am wondering if zucchini is a creeper, like cucumber or ash gourd… or , are there 2 varieties , bush and creeper? Is it a gourd variety, like pumpkin or ridge gourd?

    I am growing yellow pumpkin now with a lot of success. It is lovely to harvest this pumpkin, which on an average weighs about 10kg. I am also growing french beans , it is fun searching for the long beans which hide behind a thick foliage of leaves.

    I have some doubts on okhra. First, the germination rate was very poor; is it due to the unusually cold weather we had in Banglaore in the last few weeks with no rain or sunlight? Also, the ones that germinated, don’t look healthy; they are stunted in their growth and I don’t see any visible progress, barring one plant. I am wondering what the problem could be… any ideas ?

    Thanks for the constant motivation you provide to all of us…

    Regards
    Meena k

    • Sorry for the delay. Zucchini is not a creeper. It grows upto 3-4 feet and does run around at all.
      Average 10kg? Wow. If there are many takers in my house for such big pumpkins, I would love to grow them. So true about french bean. I have around 6 plants yielding like anything since April.

      Poor germination could be due to the quality of seed or the media. Check the soil if it is loose enough and also mix in little compost to make it friable. When you sow the seeds, add a handful of bonemeal into the hole, cover with soil and then make a small home there and sow the seeds. This way when the seed’s root reaches the bone meal it would start releasing the nutrients, since bone meal is a slow release fertilizer.

      All your comments/suggestions/questions constantly motivate me to keep blogging!.

  14. Hey GG
    What happened to your latest updates? I am unable to find your cucumber update. Your last update here is of Jul 25 and nothing after that?

  15. I love eating zucchinis and they are hard to come by. I have to visit supermarkets in areas where expatriates such as Korean stays in order to find zucchinis.

    Would you know whether zucchini can be grown in tropical climate? I am in Malaysia and our temperature during the day is averagely 33 degrees Celsius. The growing time for the plant to mature is so short and that is another reason I would like to grow it.

  16. Another great post. What is the good planting season for Zucchini’s here is Bangalore? I am guessing, they should be ok to grow now too (its been kind of warm lately and before the return monsoon). Any idea?

  17. I just enjoy reading your blogs..Just started learning to grow my own veggies and you are the inspiration. I need help in finding out where to buy neem oil in Bangalore. I have a lot of ants and white flies destroying my plants. Any help regarding fertilizers would be great..thanks and keep posting..

  18. GG,

    I am writing from Chennai. Can you please share some zucchini seeds with me by post? I am of course ready to pay you for your costs involved. I have been asking around here a lot and haven’t been able to get it.

    It would be great if you could help out! 🙂 Have a nice day!

  19. Hello there!
    I just plucked my first zucchini yesterday and i’ve been wondering all along which flowers I can pluck and which not as some were attached to the fruit. Your post clearly mentions the thing about male and female flower which has cleared up my doubts. Now I’m going to try a whole bunch of zucchini blossom recipes.
    We should do a seed-exchange meet up sometime. I got my Zucchini seeds from my brother in US. I had no clue Indam sold them. So another round of thanks is due!

  20. Hi gg,

    I have planted Zucchini in growbags and it has started flowering from about 3+ weeks now but still there are no signs of any female flowers as you have mentioned above. The male ones flower for a day and then dry off.
    Does it take time for the female ones to appear?

  21. This is just brilliant! Nice work on the gardening and on the blog front too! You are an excellent information source and inspiration to the city dwelling garden enthusiast. Keep up the great work!

  22. Hi,
    I am a budding gardener and have only started some months back. I came to your website and was amazed and excited to know we can have our own vegetable garden at home. I do want to try them out.
    I have one query about Zucchini. Do I need to do the pollination? What if I don’t do it right? Is there a timeframe before which I must do? Will the zucchini’s grow without manual pollination? I don’t think I have bees around my place too..

    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks!

  23. after growing biter gourd and tomatoes, this is going to be my next project. please wish me good luck. i wish all the posts could be available as a book. i keep printing out stuff from here 🙂

  24. Hi,

    May i know the price of 1kg seeds that can be harvested?
    Can you please tell me the yield/acre?

    Thanks,
    Chanakya.S.

  25. Hi geek gardner…very inspiring! I’ve bought my zucchini seeds today and will plant them tomorrow. I plan to germinate them in cocopeat and then transplant into 12 inch pots,,,wish me luck!

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