When it comes to growing Zucchini there are a lot of very minuscule things that can cause your Zucchini harvest to taste bitter, to become hollow, to have funny shapes, and so on. But you can easily avoid the most common Zucchini growing issues by following this guide.
Most of the issues can be easily avoided by simply giving the plant the best growing conditions possible. This means giving your Zucchini plant the right type of soil, planting it at the right location, keeping pests away from it, and watering it properly. Zucchinis need full sun, rich soil with a PH between 6.0 and 7.5, and a moderate amount of water.
Your Zucchini plants should be doing just fine as long as you provide them with everything they need and as long as you monitor them closely so that you can keep any pests away and react fast when you identify any deseases.
Zucchinis Have a Funny Shape
This is probably the most frustrating issue that I ran into during my years of growing vegetables. Mainly because it seems to be a thing with vegetables to grow weirdly shaped.
Unfortunately, when you realise that your Zucchini are growing weirdly shaped it is, most of the time, already too late to change that for the zucchini that are already growing.
But you can take action in order to get future Zucchini to grow properly.
Your Zucchinis are growing in a weird shape because either you don´t water them enough and your Zucchini distort because they don´t get enough water to form properly, or because they are not pollinated properly, or because there was a temperature drop that disturbed the plant, or, finally, because the plant didn´t get the nutrition it needed.
These are the main reasons but there are also some other issues that could cause your zucchinis to form weirdly shaped like disease or a pest infestation.
Zucchinis Are Not Watered Properly
As soon as your Zucchini plants start building the first Zucchinis their water requirements also change. They will need quite a bt more water than before.
So try to adapt how much water you feed the plant little by little. It is important that your Zucchini is getting enough water but also not too much water!
If your Zucchinis are getting too little water then they might start to distort because there isn´t enough water to properly form a healthy-looking Zucchini.
It is best to water your Zucchinis every morning to about 5 inches deep. Try to keep the Zucchinis themselves dry while watering the plant or they might get damaged after a while. You can also put some mulch under your plant to retain the moisture longer.
The Zucchini Was´t Pollinated Properly
This one is the most frustrating one in my opinion because there is just very little that you can do about it.
If there weren’t enough insects in your garden during the pollination-phase of your Zucchini plant then your plant might not have been pollinated properly.
Improper pollination can lead to the weirdly shaped Zucchini.
I know, it sounds weird, right? Why would that influence the way the Zucchini is shaped?
Well, the answer is quite simple. Each Zucchini fruit has multiple seeds in them and each seed needs its own reserve of Zucchini “flesh”.
But one single Bee visiting your Zucchini plant will not be enough to pollinate every single seed inside one of the Zucchinis. So each Zucchini will need multiple visits of multiple bees in order to pollinate each seed inside one single Zucchini.
The area around each pollinated seed will grow but if too few seeds within one Zucchine were pollinated then the Zucchini will grow in a weird shape or stay very small.
So in order to get healthy and well-shaped Zucchinis, it is important to have a lot of pollinating insects in your garden. So plant some flowering plants that attract bees and maybe put some water cups out in the summer for thirsty bees. Try to avoid using too much insecticide especially when it isn´t necessary.
The Zucchini Plant Didn´t Get Enough Nutrition
Finally, you should always provide your plants with everything they need in order to grow properly.
I would highly recommend regularly fertilizing your plants according to their needs.
Zucchinis are heavy feeders so they need a lot of nutrition. I would recommend to fertilize them once a week with liquid fertilizer and make sure that the soil has a lot of organic material in it.
To fertilize Zucchinis I would recommend using an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer. You can buy one right here on Amazon or in your local garden center.
Zucchinis Taste Bitter
Unfortunately, when you first realize that your Zucchinis are tasting bitter then there really isn´t much that you can do this year that could change that.
Cucubitacins are a group of chemicals that are responsible for the bitter taste in squash. Stress, such as extreme temperatures, too little water, a lack of nutrients, or a pest infestation can all cause too much Cucubitacins to form which will make the Zucchini taste bitter.
So in order to avoid bitter-tasting Zucchinis, you have to give your Zucchini plant the best possible growing conditions.
This includes enough Nutrition and organic material in the soil, enough water, and a sunny location.
Zucchinis Are Too Hard
This is one issue that is actually quite easy to resolve.
Zucchinis are getting harder the longer they are left on the plant. So in order to avoid tough Zucchini, they should be harvested when they reached a moderate size. If Zucchinis are left on the plant for too long then they will become hard, they will lose flavor, and they might even become hollow in the middle.
Simply put, harvest your Zucchinis earlier rather than late and you will have good tasting Zucchinis that aren´t too hard to eat.
The Leaves of the Zucchini Plant Are Turning Yellow
A discoloring of the leaves of your Zucchini plant should always be concerning to you. This is never a good sign and you should react fast in order to save your plant and all the plants in its proximity.
Yellow leaves are often a sign of drought and can easily be avoided by properly watering the Zucchini plant. In some cases, however, yellow leaves can also be a sign of a pest infestation. So check the undersides of the leaves and stems of the plant if any pests in form of black or red spots can be found.
If you found signs of a pest infestation then you have to act fast before it spreads.
I usually try to get rid of it with some soapy water first and if that doesn´t help then I will use pestocide.
You should always be careful when using pesticides especially if you plan on eating the fruit of the plant later on. So only use as much pesticide as needed and not more.
The Leaves of the Zucchini Plant Are Turning White
White blotches on your Zucchini leaves are usually nothing to worry about. They will form naturally as part of the leaf coloration. If the white areas on the Zucchini Leaves look like white dust or flour then the Zucchini plant might be infested with the powdery mildew fungus. A fungicide can be sprayed on the leaves to get rid of it.
It can sometimes be hard to identify if it is an infestation or simply the natural coloration of the Zucchini plant that is coloring the Leaves of your plant white. But one thing that you can do, if you are not sure, is to wipe over the white areas of the leaves.
You should wear handshoes when doing this!
if the white areas are coming off slightly or if some of the white stuff is sticking to your handshoe then it is most differently powdery mildew but if nothing is coming off then it is probably just the natural coloration of the leaves.