Zucchini pleases not only with its versatility of use in cooking, but also with its amazing unpretentiousness in care, as well as high yield. But if earlier I always regretted that the main wave of the harvest of this crop fell in the middle of summer, after which the bushes abruptly began to wither and lose ground, then over time I was able to achieve a longer period of fruiting from it.
By trial and error, I have identified for myself several simple techniques that help rejuvenate the bushes after the main wave of harvest and achieve the appearance of a new ovary on them. This gives us the opportunity to extend the harvest period of young fruits until the end of September, and in the warm autumn — until the end of October.
I begin to rejuvenate the bushes in the first half of August: by this time they have already given their main abundant harvest, which they use all their strength for, and become very unsightly in appearance.
The first reception. Infections – away!
First of all, I carefully inspect each bush and, if I notice the slightest signs of a fungal or viral disease on any specimen, I dig it up and burn it without hesitation so that it does not become a source of infection spreading to the rest of the plantation.
Then I take a sharp clean pruner and carry out a rejuvenating pruning of the remaining healthy, but always excessively thickened bushes. On each of them, I cut out all the old, yellowed leaves and remove 2-3 leaves located in the center of the outlet and preventing access of air, sunlight and pollinating insects to the flowers. In addition, I will certainly cut out all the leaves in contact with the ground.
I carry out the pruning procedure only in clear sunny weather and certainly in the morning so that the slices dry up during the day. In addition, for disinfection, immediately after pruning, I sprinkle each cut with sifted wood ash.
The second reception. Iodine, nitrogen and trace elements
The next day after pruning, I feed the zucchini with a solution of urea (carbamide) prepared at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water. I fertilize the plants in the morning after the next watering and pour 1 liter of this solution under each bush.
Towards the evening of the same day, I spray the bushes with an iodine solution enriched with trace elements. To do this, I add a bottle of pharmacy iodine (10 ml) and a drug containing a complex of trace elements to 10 liters of water. These fertilizers activate the growth of a new green mass, and iodine treatment serves as an excellent prevention of plant damage by fungal diseases.
A week after the first top dressing, I fertilize the plantings with a solution of mullein (1:10) or an infusion of chicken manure (1:15), pouring 1 liter of solution under each root after the next watering.
The third reception. Everyone take cover!
In September or only in October (depending on the weather), I set arcs over the garden with zucchini and cover them with a spanbond. The covering material allows plants to breathe and at night maintains the temperature inside such a greenhouse several degrees higher than “overboard”. In such conditions, the bushes continue to bloom and bear fruit.
The fourth reception. Manual pollination
In order for normal ovary formation to occur in a closed space, I regularly carry out manual pollination of bushes. To this end, I pluck a male flower, which is easy to identify by a long thin stem, tear off all the petals from it and walk its pistil along the stamens of 2-3 female inflorescences with short thickened stems. I do this with all the bushes, carrying out the procedure in the early morning hours.
After several ovaries are formed on each bush, I pinch the growth point on each and cut off all the inflorescences so that the plants let their juices flow not for the growth of greenery and unnecessary flowering, but for the filling of the harvest. In order for the formed ovary not to rot on the damp ground, I mulch the soil under the bushes with straw or sawdust, or I put pieces of plywood or polystyrene substrates under the fruits. These are the zucchini I have at the end of September (photo below).
In addition, in order to avoid rotting of fruits from the tip of each slightly grown ovary, I remove the dried corolla, which often begins to get wet and rot in a humid environment.
Thanks to these simple techniques, our family has the opportunity to feast on young zucchini until frost.
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