Zucchini is a classic representative of the pumpkin family. This is a bushy variety of hard-barked pumpkin from northern Mexico, its homeland is the Oaxaca Valley. Sizes of zucchini are different. It is rich in micro and macro elements useful for human health, has good gastronomic qualities and is applicable in cooking.
- Botanical characteristic
- Benefits and harms
- Benefits <
- Harm <
- Quality indicators
- Cost <
- Zucchini in animal feeding
- Soil requirements
- Planting <
- Care <
- Zucchini in the wild
- The largest zucchini in the world
Botanical character stick
Zucchini is a vegetable, not a fruit or berry. It does not grow on a tree, but belongs to annual plants of the pumpkin genus. It is a melon crop. Most plants have a bush form, there are no whips, but for some hybrids characterized by pumpkin-like weaving with creeping stems.
The stalk is thickened, faceted in shape, upright, varieties with a dying stem are found. The root system is strong, well developed, consists of a rod root and branched lateral root processes.
Initially, only squash seeds were consumed. The story of the acquaintance with the vegetable of Europeans began in the 16th century, when it began to be grown in botanical gardens for decorative purposes.The first to start using zucchini in cooking were Italians.
The foliage is usually large in size, but there are varieties with small and medium leaves. They are green in color. The leaves are five-lobed, covered with a prickly and hard fluff, sometimes having a light whitish hue.
The inflorescences are large, monoecious. They have a bell-shaped shape. Their color is bright yellow or orange. There are varieties of zucchini with male and female flowers, or with only one of the species. In male inflorescences, the peduncle is longer than in female ones.
A common variety of zucchini is zucchini. This is a green vegetable with a high content of ascorbic acid. According to the description, it looks like a small zucchini and has rugged foliage with a silver tint.
The fruits are oblong. The skin color is diverse and directly depends on the variety of zucchini: it can be all shades of green, yellow, cream-white and even black. There are bicolor specimens, striped or spotted. The relief of the peel also depends on the variety: there are smooth, tuberous and ribbed fruits.
One plant usually gives up to 18-20 vegetables.
The flesh is tender and juicy in structure. Its density depends on the variety and the ripening period of the fetus: in young specimens it is less dense, in adults it is much denser, in overgrown specimens it is stiff, like a peel. The color is different, but light shades – white, yellowish, cream.
For culinary purposes, it is better to use small fruits that have reached technical maturity – 7-10 days. They have a special, delicate taste.
The shape of vegetables can also be different. There are varieties with elongated cylindrical, oval, club-shaped, round and curved fruits. Inside them there are seeds, shaped like sunflower seeds. They are flat, elongated, white or cream, of a small size. 1 thousand squash seeds weigh about 130-150 g.
Benefit and harm
The calorie content of a vegetable crop is on average 27 kcal per 100 g. Its composition is rich in elements useful to human health. Zucchini contains potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, organic acids, fiber, vitamins C, PP, B1, B2, B6, carotene. The product is easily absorbed and does not cause heaviness in the stomach.
Zucchini recommended for use:
- for problems in the cardiovascular system;
- for stagnation of bile and to restore glycogen in the liver;
- to protect the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines, acting as a prophylaxis of ulcers and other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- as a means to get rid of worms: seeds are anthelmintic a tool;
- to combat puffiness;
- as a prevention of prostate diseases in men;
- to maintain a high level of calcium in pregnant women;
- against excessive accumulation of cholesterol;
- as a means of activating the digestion process and contributing to the acceleration of the absorption of “heavy” foods.
With its undoubted benefits for the human body, zucchini can harm those who have any health problems. So, among the contraindications for including it in the diet:
- kidney disease;
- high acid content in the gastric tract;
- excess potassium (hyperkalemia).
The main application of zucchini was found in cooking. Its flesh is tender, boils quickly, and the product itself tastes well with other vegetables, meat and fish. It can be used both raw in salads and thermally processed in the first and second courses.
Very often zucchini can be found in Mediterranean dishes, the most famous of which is ratatouille. Residents of French Provence love stuffed zucchini flowers.
Young zucchini have high gastronomic characteristics and a delicate taste, easily digestible human gastrointestinal tract. Vegetables are added to the diet of children, patients for the recovery period after surgery or a serious illness, suffering from digestive problems.
The low calorie content of the squash and its fast digestibility have made it popular in diets.
According to the GOST applicable in Russia, all zucchini are divided into the highest, 1st and 2nd grades. At the same time, they have the basic requirements:
- freshness of the fruit;
- lack of signs of damage by pests and integrity;
- technical ripeness;
- not coarse and unfading peel;
- smooth or ribbed surface, depending on variety;
- the presence of the stalk;
- absence of extraneous odors and taste;
- juiciness and sufficient density of pulp, no voids;
- sizes up to 16 cm and weight up to 225 g for the highest grade, length up to 26 cm and weight up to 600 g for the first, size up to 35 cm and without a weight limit for the second.
For the 3rd, fodder variety, defects in shape, color, traces of sunburn and mechanical damage in the absence of impaired pulp integrity are acceptable.
The price of vegetables varies depending on the season and region of sale. So, the average of the minimum prices for zucchini in the markets and in Russian supermarkets for retail by months is 1 kg:
- August – from 43 rubles;
- September – from 68 rubles;
- November – from 88 rubles;
- December – from 125 rubles;
- January – from 145 rubles
Zucchini in animal feeding
Vegetable that has reached biological maturity and has lost its taste is often used not for human consumption, but for feeding livestock.
Culture is especially useful:
- to cattle (cows, goats), because zucchini are quickly digested in their stomach, acting as milk-milk natural products, enriching cattle meat products with a high content of potassium and calcium;
- piglets and rabbits, they are given fresh vegetables in small quantities, diluting the feed ration for balanced nutrition and the receipt of the necessary elements required in the process of growth and development.
As a variety of feed menu, vegetables should be given to turkeys and chickens. Dogs include zucchini in the diet mainly in boiled form instead of cereals, because It goes well with meat and offal.
For pets and livestock, succulent zucchini has considerable nutritional value, is well absorbed by them and helps digest the main feed. However, it is worth limiting its amount in the feed ration, as the vegetable has a laxative effect.
Zucchini is grown on an industrial scale and in private household plots, on open ground and in a greenhouse. You can cultivate a vegetable crop by seed or seedling method, while in the southern regions it is permissible to plant seeds, and for the northern regions it is recommended to germinate seedlings first. agricultural practices are rarely damaged by diseases and pests.
Suitable soil for growing zucchini is the soil in which:
- sod ;
- decayed Navo h;
- rotted sawdust;
- coarse-grained river sand.
Instead of preparing the land independently, it is permissible to use purchased mixtures intended for growing pumpkin.
The soil on the bed is prepared in the fall, introducing manure or chicken droppings during digging.For culture, soil with neutral acidity is preferred. In the spring, before sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings, the ridges are dug up and additionally humus or compost is added.
The best “precursors” for a vegetable crop are potatoes, cabbage, beans, onions and garlic. Do not plant zucchini in the garden after pepper, carrots and eggplant.
The fertility of the soil and its acidity are regulated by the application of wood ash, limestone, sawdust. An exception is manure, which raises the temperature of the soil layer and can lead to overheating of the roots. Disinfect the soil with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
When planting zucchini with seeds, preparatory work (pre-sowing treatment of seed material) begins in April, 20-30 before the expected date of transplanting seedlings
Usually zucchini plants are planted according to the 0.8 x 0.8 m pattern, where the digital indicators are the distance between the rows and between the bushes. In the southern regions, vegetables are often sown with ribbons according to the pattern 0.9 x 0.5 x 0.7 m, where 0.9 is the distance between the ribbons, 0.5 is between the rows, and 0.7 is between the bushes.
Seeds are buried 5-7 cm in loose soil and 3-5 cm in dense soil.
Vegetable culture tolerates short-term temperature drops well to 5-6 ° C, but cooling to 0 ° C stops its growth and leads to death.The optimum temperature for zucchini is considered to be 20-25 ° C.
In the process of growing plants are fed. Usually this is done when shoots appear, then when inflorescences are formed, during the active flowering stage and feeding is completed during the fruiting period.
At the initial stage of growth and development, seedlings require nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, and when flowering, nitrogen-containing fertilizing is excluded so as not to cause an intense build-up of green mass. Suppose watering and foliar spraying.
- the first fertilizing occurs on 8-10 days after the emergence of seedlings, feed the culture with superphosphate (2 g diluted in 1 liter of water) or potassium permanganate (make a weak solution);
- subsequent dressings are carried out at intervals of 7-10 days, watering and spraying the squash diluted with water bird droppings (1:20), slurry (1:15), alternating them with the addition of mineral complexes;
- at the flowering stage, the vegetable is usually fertilized with nitrophos (1 tbsp. l) and mullein (0.5 l), times eaten in water (10 l);
- at the beginning of fruiting it is recommended to add wood ash (2 tbsp. per 10 l of water).
Zucchini are moisture-loving plants However, they are able to cope with short-term drought. It is recommended to water them with water at room temperature in the evening, 1-2 times in 7 days. The fluid flow rate before the formation of the ovaries is 10 l, at the fruiting stage – 12-15 l per 1 bush.
When watering, water does not get on foliage and stems. Its optimum temperature is 22 ° C.
The main enemies affecting squash plantings are spider mites, sprout flies, and gourds.
The beginning of the fruiting stage in zucchini depends on the variety and varies from 35 to 60 days after sowing the seeds:
- ultra-mature give the first crop for 35-40 days;
- early ripen on day 40-45;
- in mid-ripening vegetables appear 46-50 days after sowing seeds;
- late-ripening fruits begin from day 50.
On the 7-10th day after the formation of fruits n steps technical maturity of the vegetables. Such young specimens 15-30 cm long and 4-10 cm in diameter are suitable for food purposes and have the most delicate pulp.
After 100-120 days, complete biological maturity occurs. By this time, vegetables become tasteless, lose their beneficial properties and are suitable only for feeding animals.
Zucchini in the wild
Zucchini has long been cultivated asthenia, therefore, it does not grow in the wild.
If such a vegetable is found outside the household, then most likely it is a representative of the usual variety, caught in the wild with streams of wind, insects, animals or birds.
The largest zucchini in the world
The average weight of a vegetable is from 0.3 to 1.5 kg. At the stage of technical ripeness, the size of zucchini varies from 15 to 30 cm. When biological maturity occurs, they grow to 1-1.5 m.
However, there are giant vegetables that gain weight up to 30 kg. Such varieties include the Russian size, the large fruit of which grows up to 1.5 m in length.
In 1998, an Englishman from Chesterfield, John Handbury, raised a record-breaking vegetable at his site. His zucchini weighed 61.23 kg.
This record was broken by Ken Dade, a gardener from Australia, who grew a 65 kg vegetable on his plot, thanks to which he became famous all over the world, finding himself in the Guinness Book of Records 2008.