Zucchini fertilizer: Tips for feeding zucchini

Zucchini is one of the most popular varieties of summer squash to grow in the garden, although it is technically a fruit, as they are easy to grow and prolific producers. One source indicates that the average plant produces between 3 and 9 pounds of fruit. My plants often exceed that number. To get the best fruit yield, you may ask yourself «should I fertilize my zucchini? The following article contains information on fertilizing zucchini and zucchini fertilization requirements.

Should I fertilize the zucchini?

Like any fruit plant, zucchini can benefit from complementary feeding. The amount and timing of fertilizer application for zucchini depends on the quality of the soil before planting or transplanting. For optimum production, courgettes should be grown in rich, well-drained soil in an area with plenty of sunlight. Summer squash is a heavy food, but if you are fortunate enough to have nutrient rich soil, you may not need to feed the squash plants as well.

If you want to feed the zucchini organically, you should start before sowing the seeds or transplanting them. First, select your site and dig the soil. Dig about 4 cm of well composted organic matter. Apply an additional 4 to 6 cups of multi-purpose organic fertilizer per 100 square feet. If your compost or manure has a high soluble salt content, you should wait 3 to 4 weeks before planting zucchini to avoid damaging the salt.

Plant the seeds to a depth of one inch or transplant the initial plants. Water the plants once a week to keep them moist, at a rate of 1 to 2 cm per week depending on weather conditions. Then apply an organic fertilizer for the zucchini when the plants begin to flower. You can use an all-purpose organic fertilizer or a diluted fish emulsion when you fertilize your zucchini plants at this time. Water the fertilizer around the plants and let it soak into the root system.

Fertilizer requirements for courgettes

An ideal fertilizer for zucchini will certainly contain nitrogen. A multi-purpose feed such as 10-10-10 is generally sufficient for the needs of zucchini plants. It contains a lot of nitrogen to facilitate healthy growth, as well as the potassium and phosphorus needed to increase fruit production.

You can use a water-soluble or granular fertilizer. If you use a water-soluble fertilizer, dilute it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For granular fertilizer, spread the granules around the plants at a rate of 1 ½ pounds per 100 square feet. Do not allow the granules to touch the plants, as this may burn them. Water the granules well.

As mentioned above, if you have rich soil, you may not need extra fertilizer, but for the rest of us, preparing the bed with fertilizer will limit the amount of extra feed needed. Then, when the seedlings emerge, a light dose of general purpose fertilizer is sufficient, and then again once the flowers have appeared.

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