A zucchini plant is a lazy gardener’s crop. For very little work, the payout (AKA the yield) is enormous, and nothing beats the taste of one fresh out of the garden. But it turns out I may have been a little too lazy growing this crop in past years and that zucchini plants can benefit from pruning and staking.
Pruning And Staking Zucchini Plants?
Yes! Much like tomatoes, your zucchini plants won’t mind having a little trim and TLC throughout the growing season.
The benefits are many, including reducing the risk of disease, such as powdery mildew, which is inevitable with zucchini plants.
Leaves won’t sprawl across the soil, meaning fewer pathogens will get to them. And it allows for better air circulation, which is a good thing for fruit production!
The technique is also a major space-saver out in the garden. Zucchini plants tend to take over rapidly; pruning and staking make them more compact and helps them grow up instead of out.
How To Stake Zucchini
This is a job that is easiest done as you initially plant your zucchini. If you’re a little late to the game, no worries! Just be careful not to disturb the roots.
Plant a four or five-foot stake close to the zucchini stem and gently tie with some garden string or tomato ties. As the zucchini continues to grow, keep securing the stem in increments.
How To Prune Zucchini
Pruning zucchini isn’t a huge project because you shouldn’t remove too many of the leaves.
The fruit needs the leaves above to grow; only remove the ones below the first zucchini blossoms.
In addition to the leaves, remove their stems. Do this with a sharp pair of garden shears and clip right at the main stem. It’s not difficult to do, as you’ll notice the stem is hollow until it hits the plant’s main stem.
As you can see, the result is a zucchini patch that looks nice and tidy compared to how it started.
As the growing season continues, watch for the development of powdery mildew and remove any diseased parts of the plant. Discard them into the garbage – never the compost.
A healthier plant could very well lead to a better harvest. Grilled, stuffed, or grated into bread or sweets; you’ll enjoy lots of zucchini for months to come!