Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Bed 2: Zucchinis


Bed 2
Goldfinger Zucchini
This year I'm growing a hybrid called Goldfinger from New Gippsland Seeds and Bulbs.
I prefer not to use hybrid seeds as I like to save the seeds but I don't usually bother with the cucurbit family as the process of seed saving is quite involved when you grown more than one variety.

The Goldfinger Zucchini seeds were planted on August 6th.
As soon as their true leaves appeared they were potted-on into growing-on pots on 23rd August.

Very soon these Goldfingers had almost out grown their pots so I bravely planted them into Bed 2 next to some Potatoes on 8th September much earlier than I would normally but as we were going to be away in early October I didn't think they would have survived if I had left them in their pots.

I covered them with shadecloth for the first few days and then only covered them at night to keep the warmth in. Fortunately we only had minor frosts during this time and they weren't damaged at all. When we went away they were covered with the shadecloth all day in case there was a frost (which there was) while we were gone!

Growing requirements:
Latin Name: Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Sow: Spring/Summer after frost outside
Soil: Well drained humus/compost rich
pH: 6.5 - 7
Spacing: Allow 50cm to 100cm

Note:
May be prone to powdery mildew in humid weather, a seaweed spray or sulphur may help but care should be taken to avoid wetting the leaves when watering; drip watering at root zone is preferred. Keep plants actively growing and healthy. Plan on subsequent plantings so old plants can be replaced.

My Notes:
Shallow roots mean frequent watering, plus mulch.
In my climate they appreciate shade.
Liquid feed when flowering.
Hand pollination may be necessary if fruit set is low.
Are ready to pick when 8 -10 cm long, larger ones may be stuffed/baked or grated and added to soups or burgers/patties.
Pick frequently to promote more further fruit set.

Good Companions:
Nasturtiums
Basil
Corn
Radish gone to seed.


Sources:
Organic Vegetable Growing by Annette McFarlane
The Australian Organic Gardener's Handbook by Keith Smith
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte
Southern Holdings Easy Guide to Companion Planting and Seed Sowing
Companion Planting in Australia by Brenda Little

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