How to grow and care for courgettes in a polycarbonate greenhouse
Greenhouses are widely used for early harvest of vegetables. Caring for zucchini in your own greenhouse is simple, and the result will delight you not only with an abundance of harvest, but also with early ripening. Such fruits have better taste than those grown in the open field.
- 1 Features:
- 2 Zucchini varieties for greenhouses
- 3 Growing zucchini in a greenhouse
- 4 Care
- 5 Diseases and pests
- 6 Harvesting
Zucchini is rarely grown in greenhouse conditions. They are perfectly adapted to temperature extremes and easily endure various natural disasters. But for a number of reasons, there is still a variant of cultivating this plant in closed ground, namely:
- the growing season is significantly reduced, the crop ripens several times faster;
- yield increases significantly;
- the taste of zucchini grown indoors is softer;
- early harvest is in great demand in the market;
- in conditions of a closed ground, plants almost do not get sick, and the possibility of being damaged by pests is minimized;
- zucchini do not have special requirements for the composition of the soil and temperature conditions, so their cultivation is inexpensive.
Zucchini varieties for greenhouses
For growing in a greenhouse, it is better to give preference to bush zucchini varieties... You can plant ordinary ones, but they will take up more space. In addition, their yield is, as a rule, lower than bush.
When choosing a variety of zucchini for a greenhouse, gardeners try to plant plants with different ripening periods. The best early varieties are recognized:
Each of them is endowed with its own advantages and disadvantages, as well as features. The choice should be made based on your own goals and capabilities.
Among the mid-season marrow varieties suitable for growing in a greenhouse, it is worth noting especially:
- Mini Zucchini;
The latter is widely used for cultivation in the open field. Each of these varieties of zucchini differs not only in appearance and taste, but also has certain cultivation characteristics.
There are not so many late-ripening zucchini for the greenhouse. Basically, they will appeal to real gourmets and lovers of exotic. The most common are:
- Spaghetti Raviolo;
Self-pollinated zucchini varieties are of great value for greenhouse cultivation. Their advantage is that insect intervention is not required to obtain ovaries.The gardener does not have to invent tricks and devices in order to pollinate flowers. Such varieties, as a rule, are labeled with F1, which indicates that they belong to hybrids. The most common are the following:
- Atena Polka;
- Zucchini tree.
In addition to the possibility of self-pollination, these varieties of zucchini show increased resistance to the most common diseases.
Growing zucchini in a greenhouse
Growing zucchini in a greenhouse is simple and profitable. But for this it is not enough to familiarize yourself with the features of a particular variety, you also need to know what requirements are imposed on the structures themselves, the soil, and the peculiarities of caring for plants in greenhouses.
What kind of greenhouse is needed
Zucchini is an unpretentious plant that does not need to be cultivated in an expensive greenhouse made of polycarbonate. It can be made with your own hands from polyethylene and scrap materials for the frame. The height of the structure does not matter, but in order for the plants to be conveniently looked after and harvested, they make it to full human height.
Between the rows of zucchini, the passage should be wide so as not to injure delicate leaves when walking.
A greenhouse with an area of up to 50 square meters is sufficient for growing zucchini.... The harvest collected in this area will be enough not only to satisfy personal needs, but also for implementation. If you plan to grow zucchini in the winter, then an ordinary greenhouse will not be enough. We'll have to build a good foundation, and the coating is made of wooden glazed frames or polycarbonate. For good ventilation, vents must be provided.
Zucchini greenhouses are equipped with heating systems in winter. For heating use:
- electric boiler;
- wood-fired oven;
- household air heater (only if the greenhouse is covered with plastic).
Expensive greenhouse options include an automatic drip irrigation system, as well as climate control.
Recently, so-called biofuels have been increasingly used in greenhouses. Any rotted manure mixed with straw in equal proportions is used as it. This is especially useful for zucchini, since it is not the ground part that is warmed to a greater extent, but the roots of the plants.
Zucchini love light and loose soil with a neutral level of acidity or low alkaline. To increase the nutritional value and provide the plants with all the necessary trace elements, wood ash or compost is added.
Organic fertilizers for zucchini can be easily replaced with complex mineral fertilizers. The best option would be superphosphate. It is not necessary to use products that contain chlorine, since it has a detrimental effect on zucchini.
How to prepare seedlings
For a greenhouse, zucchini is best grown in seedlings. So that the root system suffers as little as possible during the pick, the seeds are sown in peat pots or tablets. Since the plants tolerate temperature changes well, sowing is carried out quite early, and if there is heating in the greenhouse, this can be done all year round. After the emergence of seedlings, watering is carried out as the top layer of the soil dries. In pots, zucchini are kept up to 25 days old.
Zucchini seedlings are planted in unheated film greenhouses in late April - early May. If there is a desire to plant the plants earlier and get an early harvest, then the soil must first be warmed up. Zucchini are planted at a distance of 70-80 cm from each other. The row spacings are made wide, at least 1 meter.
Zucchini is pollinated both independently (self-pollinated varieties) and with the help of pollinating insects.In the latter case, it is necessary to ensure their access to the greenhouse by providing vents for ventilation and using luring means.
To maintain a normal soil moisture level, it is recommended to mulch it. You can do this with hay or sawdust, or you can cover the ground with a special film, in which holes are made in advance for the squash bushes. Through them, in the future, watering zucchini... Shelter will also help provide planted plants with the warmth they need for growth and development.
The greenhouse needs regular ventilation. On warm spring and summer days, the courgettes are left open as long as possible. Thanks to this, not only growth is accelerated, but pollinating insects also penetrate into the greenhouse. To lure them, zucchini is lightly sprinkled with sugar syrup.
In order to ensure good air circulation and light penetration, the zucchini must be shaped, i.e. remove the bottom leaves. However, at the same time, at least 15 fully formed leaves should remain on each adult plant. This procedure is especially necessary if the zucchini plantings are thickened.
Despite the plant's resistance to temperature extremes, a certain temperature regime must be observed to obtain the best result. The heat will not benefit the zucchini, because at night the most optimal temperature for them is +18 ° С, and during the day - +24 ° С. Humidity is maintained within 60-70%. When the recommended temperature rises, the zucchini shed the ovary, and when the temperature is lowered, they inhibit growth.
Watering zucchini in a greenhouse is enough to be carried out once a week, but it is worth focusing on the drying of the top layer of the soil. It should not be allowed to crack. For irrigation, it is recommended to use soft water slightly warmed to room temperature. Up to 1 bucket of water is consumed per bush.
Top dressing of greenhouse zucchini it is better to carry out with organic fertilizers. Compost, humus, fermented grass, and dioecious nettle infusion work well. If there is no time and opportunity to prepare biofertilizers on your own, you can use a complex mineral fertilizer purchased at a gardening store. It is not necessary to get carried away with nitrogen fertilizing, because they lead to an excessive build-up of green mass and inhibit the formation of flowers and zucchini ovaries.
Diseases and pests
The most dangerous diseases for squash recognized:
- powdery mildew;
- root rot;
With bacteriosis, the embryos of zucchini stop developing, turn glassy and begin to rot. The causes of the disease are high humidity, violation of agricultural practices and irrigation with cold water.
With root rot, the roots of the zucchini bushes turn yellow, cracks form on them, the stem rotts. Such a bush is doomed to death, there are very few chances to save it. Not only the roots rot, but also the root collar. The development of the disease is provoked by waterlogging of the soil and sharp fluctuations in temperature.
Of the pests, zucchini are most often affected by scoops and slugs. To combat them, both modern special-purpose drugs and folk remedies are used. It is recommended to sprinkle the soil around the bushes with wood ash, tooth powder or superphosphate. Some gardeners set traps in the greenhouse.
Zucchini is harvested without waiting for them to grow to large sizes. Fruits 20 cm long are considered ideal. They are delicate in taste, with a thin skin. A week before the expected collection of zucchini, they stop watering them. Thanks to this, their taste becomes not watery, but saturated.
The collection of fruits is carried out every other day, trying not to damage the bush. Otherwise, ovaries stop forming on it.Tear off not only marketable zucchini, but also deformed ones. Overgrowths left on the bushes slow down the ripening of new fruits and reduce yields. The collection is carried out carefully without damaging the skin. Otherwise, the shelf life is significantly reduced and the presentation of the marrow spoils.