When to harvest zucchini is a notion that depends on the variety you plant. However, most zucchini plants are ready. Once the blooms appear, they grow into fruits within a short time.
A ripe marrow is six to eight inches long, has a firm but not too hard skin, and a rich color. Read on for more information on harvesting zucchini.
- When To Harvest Zucchini in the Right Time?
- What Are Signs that Zucchini Is Ready?
- How To Harvest The Ripe Zucchini?
When To Harvest Zucchini in the Right Time?
The right time to harvest the zucchini in 45 to 55 days after planting to mature. It is a summer squash, belonging to the same family as pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons, which would grow rapidly. Once the zucchini blooms, the fruit will be ready to pick within a few days.
What Are Signs that Zucchini Is Ready?
The signs that the zucchini plant is ready for harvest are the blooming of the flowers, and the color turning richer.
In addition, you would also feel the density added, and the leaves of the plant would get larger than their regular size.
– Blooming Flowers
Zucchini flowers grow into zucchini fruits, which increase in length overnight. You should pick zucchini when the fruit grows to six to eight inches. On the other hand, it also depends on the zucchini variety you planted, because some would become better in their color and others would even look smaller, but this is an indicator.
Some zucchini varieties ripen at a younger age, while others take longer, but overall, they would be obvious by the flowers, due to the pollination success and the growth of it. You can pick male zucchini flowers from the plant to reduce vegetable production.
Male flowers have narrow stems, and you can quickly identify them in the morning when they open. The female flowers have a thicker stem and resemble the zucchini fruit.
Cut the fully open male flowers with sharp sheers behind the flower head. You can add other female flowers if you don’t want to have a huge harvest. Wash the blooms and dry them with a paper towel. You can store or use them immediately after harvesting.
– Rich Color
A ripe zucchini has a rich color, which is another sign to tell they are ready for picking, this is because the plant would require a great amount of sun, and this is why the produce would look rich in their color.
Although, some would also become darker green, yellow, and others white. The ripe squashes are tender, and you can peel the skin with your fingernails. These tasty vegetable marrows are also full of flavor when ready. However, if Zucchini’s leaves get yellow, it is not a good sign and you will have to take care of it!
– Added Density
Another way to tell it is time to harvest zucchinis is if the fruit feels firm and dense. Picking them from your vegetable garden is important because it stimulates the production of new flowers from the garden, ensuring continuous harvest. Moreover, it would grow to its best extent, and it would become denser than when it was in the beginning of the days.
– Large Leaves
The large zucchini squash can hide in the leaves. Since zucchinis grow fast, leaving some behind makes them overripe.
The fast growth should not worry you because overripe zucchinis are still edible, although they have larger seeds that are not so appetizing.
Avoid leaving your zucchinis in the garden in cold weather because they do not tolerate frost, and this is when it would start to slow down, and the plant may get harmed.
How To Harvest The Ripe Zucchini?
Harvesting zucchinis when they are ripe should be done in the afternoon when the sun is weaker, you should wear the protection.
You can cut it from the parent plant, or twist the vine when pulling, and remember to remove the leaves, and store it the right way.
– Afternoon Weak Sun
The best time of day to pick zucchini is in the afternoon. However, keep the fruit away from direct sunlight after harvesting. Also, you must be careful not to hurt the plant and the fruit when harvesting.
When the sun is directly upon it, the fruit is in vulnerable state, and as a result, it will be hard for you to keep them fresh, because now the light will react to the soft skinned produce.
– Wear Proper Protection
During the harvest, check the quality of the fruit, you can remove these from the plant to not cause rotting to the nearby fruits. When harvesting the fruits, you should also protect your arms from the rough zucchini leaves.
It is best recommended that you would wear a pair of gloves to avoid itching caused by the spiky leaves and stems.
– Cut From The Parent Plant
You can carefully remove the zucchini ready fruit from the parent plant by cutting the stalk with a sharp knife. If you use a knife to harvest, cut the stalk a few inches from the fruit.
Leaving a ‘wound’ on zucchini fruit can fasten its rotting, which is why you should cut from the parent plant, so that all the little vegetables would be linked to it already.
– Twist the Vine
Another way to pick zucchini is by twisting the fruit until it comes off the plant. In this case, you should be careful when turning them because zucchinis easily break and rot. Also note that when you are using too much energy to twist zucchini fruits can also hurt the roots, leading to the drying of the plant, or you can accidentally use too much force and harm it.
When zucchinis ripen, their skin becomes extra soft and can easily be bruised. Avoid brushing the touch leaves of the plant on tiny zucchini fruits because they get bruises, causing them to rot fast.
– Remove the Leaves
You can remove extra big leaves from zucchini plants when harvesting the fruits. The leaves cover the entire plant, reducing oxygen circulation.
Zucchini plants with large leaves can easily succumb to diseases if an infection attacks them.
– Store the Right Way
Storing zucchini fruits will determine how long they last. You can put them in the fridge immediately after harvesting. If the fruits are too dirty and need a wash before storing them, dry them thoroughly with a paper towel. The fruits will stay fresh for about seven days.
You can also freeze zucchinis if you want them to last longer. Ensure you wash, slice, or shred them into your preferred shape and keep them on a cookie sheet. Wait until they freeze to transfer them to an airtight bag.
1. Can You Eat Unripe Zucchini?
Unripe zucchinis are extremely bitter, making it hard to eat the squash. If you accidentally pick unripe zucchini, keep it in an open container for some days because it can ripen off the vine. You can expose the fruit to the sun to fasten the process. After a day or two, it will get softer and sweeter.
Note that overripe zucchinis are edible. When you leave some fruits under the leaves, they continue growing and turning yellow. These have tougher skin and lower quality, which affects the taste.
Growing zucchini takes 45 to 55 days after planting the seed. You will know the squash is ready for harvesting when it is large and feels dense. Harvesting zucchini can be done using a knife or twisting it off the stalk. From this article, you have learned these key points:
- Zucchinis ripen shortly after blooming, so you must keep checking your garden to harvest the ripe fruits.
- Twisting zucchini fruit from the plant is one of the harvesting methods, but it can hurt the plant if done incorrectly.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt and gloves when harvesting zucchini fruits because the leaves are rough and cause itching to the skin.
You can store harvested zucchinis for seven days in the fridge or more days in the freezer. If you wash the plant, ensure it is dry before storing it. Also, you should add companion plants to your zucchinis to keep them healthy and pest-free!
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