Squash Zucchini Dark Green

Squash Zucchini Dark Green

  • Features: Dark green, slender fruit on an open, upright plant. Easy to grow plants continue to produce abundantly if kept picked.
  • Maturity: 45-60 days / fruit size is 15-20cm (6-8").
  • Light: Plant in full sun.
  • Soil and water: Well drained soil, mix a 7cm (3") layer of compost with timed release organic matter and a pH of 5.6 to 7.5. Water as needed.
  • Spacing: Space 120cm (48") apart.
  • Height: Vine length varies.
  • Garden use: Vegetable gardens or raised beds.
  • Growing tips: Insects and vine borers can be a problem. Use the appropriate insecticides recommended by your garden centre. Large bugs and eggs can be picked by hand.
  • Culinary use: Used in dips, salads or cooked. Or grill marinated slices.
Squash need plenty of sun and good drainage, and they love wrapping their roots around bits of decomposing leaves or other compost. Prepare the ground for squash by mixing in a 8cm (3") layer of compost along with a timed-release or organic fertilizer at the rate recommended on the label. Squash are usually big plants, so space plants at least 90-180cm (3-6') apart (follow directions on the caretag). A light mulch is sufficient because squash leaves are so broad and dense that mature plants minimize weeds and provide cooling shade. When setting out squash seedlings in sunny weather, you may cover them with an upside-down flowerpot or other shade cover for a couple of days after transplanting to help prevent wilting. Allow the squash to ripen on the vine. The skin on mature squash has a matte finish and is hard. When harvesting, you can cut the squash at the stem, leaving a 2.5-5cm (1-2") stem.

Harvesting and storage - You may harvest yellow squash, zucchini, and other types of summer squash as baby squash, or you can cut them larger, up to 15-20cm (6-8") long. Use a sharp knife to harvest every other day while the plants are producing. Remove overripe squash as soon as possible to reduce demands on the plants for moisture and nutrients. Summer squash also work well when dried. You can store butternut squash fruits for the winter. As butternut plants turn yellow in the fall, gather the fruits and wipe them clean to reduce spoilage. Move indoors for storage before freezing weather.

When the rinds of winter squash are tough enough to resist being punctured with a fingernail, cut them with a short stub of vine attached. Be patient, because only fully ripened squash will keep for months in storage. Wipe fruits clean with a damp cloth, and store them in a basement or other cool place. Until you are ready to cook pretty acorns or butternuts, it’s fine to include them in fall table decorations.

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