What’s the best high pressure hose nozzle for vegetable gardens? It’s actually a “horses for courses”…
So, what are the benefits of staking zucchini plants? As a young child growing up on a farm and watching my expert gardening parents tend to their zucchinis, I grew to love this inquisitive fruit.
At first, I wasn’t overly sold on them when first fed zucchini but they grew on me, so to speak.
I say inquisitive fruit because a zucchini plant is like the explorer of the garden, they like to travel.
That’s not really good for other plants if they are sharing the same space. You can almost hear the other plant varieties scream, “get the heck out of my space!”
So the benefits of staking zucchini plants start with keeping them off other plants. Trust me, your garden will thank you.
In this article, I want to explore the benefits of staking zucchini plants. But firstly, why should you stake zucchinis?
Why Is Staking Zucchini Plants A Good Idea?
There are many benefits to staking zucchini with some obvious. Let’s look at the main ones.
Supporting your zucchini plants helps them grow faster and produces bigger fruits. But as we’ve mentioned, zucchini plants are notorious for taking over gardens and reducing yields.
They like to climb up trees, vines, fences, walls, and anything else they can use to reach sunlight. If left unchecked, they will eventually cover everything in sight. And once they do, it’s hard to control how many squash they produce.
Without support, they will take advantage of every nook and cranny in your yard and start growing wherever there’s space.
This makes it harder to harvest your crop because you have to dig down deeper into the dirt each time you want to pick something. In addition, they tend to crowd out other crops, making it difficult to grow other fruits and vegetables.
So, if you don’t give your zucchini plants some support, they will continue to spread throughout your property.
Actually, I think zucchini plants will produce better fruit if they grow vertically rather than horizontally. By providing vertical support, you can encourage your plants to grow upwards and produce larger fruits. You can even train your plants to grow along a wall or fence.
A trellis provides support for your zucchini plants while allowing air flow around them. As long as you provide enough space for your plants to grow, they shouldn’t feel crowded. This prevents your plants from getting sunburned and reduces pest infestations.
Trellising or staking your zucchini plants can increase their yield. Instead of producing small, undersized fruits, they will produce larger fruits that are more appealing and easier to harvest. This means you’ll have more food to eat during the summer months.
Benefits Of Staking Zucchini Plants
There are numerous benefits to staking your zucchini plants. Whether you are growing them in a large container or in an outside garden bed, keeping them under control and tempering their invasive nature will save you a lot of frustration.
And the other plant varieties will appreciate it too!
Vertical gardens are becoming increasingly popular. They allow gardeners to grow plants vertically without bending over. Hey, as an old timer myself, I can attest to the fact that this is probably my number one benefit for staking zucchini plants. Felt your lower back lately?
These vertical gardens save space and help keep plants upright. Saving space in today’s growing urbanized world is crucial. Staked zucchinis comprise many of the common staked plant types of vertical gardens.
Zucchinis are easy to grow and require little maintenance. And they grow and mature fast.
Staking your zucchinis prevents them from toppling over. In addition, it keeps the fruit more organized where it’s easier to harvest.
A Major Benefit Is Avoiding Fungal Disease
That may sound a little harsh but fungal diseases such as powdery mildew can run rampant in your garden, especially if you live in a humid and wet climate.
Powdery Mildew isn’t nice to deal with. We dealt with it occasionally in our vineyards. Using a child’s analogy, “it’s yucky”. And the plants don’t appreciate it either.
Zucchinis are one of those vegetables that just seem to grow like weeds. While they’re easy to grow, taste great and don’t require much maintenance, you still need to keep an eye on them.
One thing that can really ruin a zucchini enthusiast’s day – powdery mildew.
This fungal disease causes unsightly white spots on the surface of your plants, and it can even make them look sick.
While there are some fungicides out there that can help fight off powdery mildew, sometimes it’s better to prevent it from happening in the first place.
One way to do that is to stake up your zucchini plants.
While we usually keep zucchinis away from the other crops, watching how they progress, especially after a rain is important. This is when powdery mildew can wreak havoc.
Some of the preventative measures you can take to keep powdery mildew at bay include:
In areas where there’s a lot of wind, put the zucchini in a spot where it won’t blow over. In other words, whether in pots or garden beds, give them a little windbreak protection.
Also, consider planting the zucchini in raised beds or pots because they tend to dry out faster than regular garden soil.
Prune the lower leaves throughout most of the growing season. However, if you notice yellowing leaves, you might want to cut them back a little bit.
Should You Use Fungicides?
Fungicides are an alternative. I don’t like to use them but today’s organic brands are pretty good and get the job done.
While I don’t like to recommend fungicides, Captain Jack’s Copper Fungicide is one product that does a good job.
Use it strictly as instructed on the label. I can tell you some horror powdery mildew stories growing up on the vineyard but we might save those for another article.
Conclusion: Staking Zucchini Plants
In conclusion, staking zucchini plants has many other benefits. The obvious again are:
– more bountiful harvests
– fewer problems with diseases and pests
– neater gardens
It also allows for better airflow. This is something many gardeners don’t consider. In a full garden where plant varieties are in full bloom and there’s very little space even to walk between the planted rows, lack of airflow can be an issue.
It can especially be an issue after a rain in humid weather. Yes, ideal condition for powdery mildew to “rear its ugly head”.
Finally, while this is not really an issue, zucchini plants that are not staked are more likely to produce misshapen fruit.
The good news is that even the misshapen fruit tastes good. You decide if this is an issue or not. If you are big on aesthetics, then you’ll consider that it is.
So, consider staking zucchini plants if you are looking for a way to improve your yield.