In our previous post, we have discussed how long will zucchini plant produce? Today will talk about the things to do with the zucchini plant at the end of the season.
Zucchini is popular summer squash. It is really easy to grow and maintain. A zucchini plant can last for more than 150 days before it gets killed by the frost. Frost and pest bourn diseases are the main killers of zucchini plants.
If the plant survives pests attacks then the first frost will kill it. Until then you will have at least 120 days of the harvesting season. Once the growing season is over you have to get rid of the old zucchini vines.
Before plucking out the vines make sure you have left some fruits to mature and develop seeds. You will need these seeds in the next growing season.
Check out my previous post: Does Lettuce Need Lots of Water?
what to do with the zucchini plant at end of the season?
This is obvious, you have to get rid of the old zucchini vines at the end of the season. Either the frost or any disease will kill the plant in the end.
So if it survives till the last then make sure it is fruiting. If the plant is still fruiting then harvest as much as you can and leave a couple of them in the vines to mature. These mature fruits will develop mature seeds for next year’s plantation.
The leaves and stems of old zucchini vines will look pale yellow. If the zucchini plant has already stoped fruiting and looks partially dead then pick it out of the ground. Let the dead plant dry and then compost it to enrich the soil.
Also read: How much sun do zucchini plants need?
Things to do with zucchini plant at end of season
- Harvest as much as you can and leave only 2 or 3 fruits to mature in the vine. If the zucchini plant is still flowering and fruiting till the first frost then mature fruits will stop this eventually. The plant will stop further fruit production once it has some mature fruits with seeds. These seeds can be regrown next spring. You can store and use these seeds for a couple of years.
- Cut and mix the green vines and leftovers with animal fodder. If you have some cattle like cow, goat, or sheep then this is a great opportunity for winter preparations. You can chop the green zucchini vine and leftovers with animal fodder. You can use this mix to feed herbivores throughout winters.
- Chop only healthy green or yellow partial dead zucchini vines for composting. You can make free compost with the zucchini vines. Only make sure the vines are free from disease and fungal spores. Otherwise, the whole compost batch can be infected with fungal spores.
- Pull off the rest of the vines and let them dry before frost. You can use the dead and dry vines for burning. Dead and dry zucchini vines burn really very quickly. You can use the ashes as natural pesticides in the garden. Use it carefully as the ashes can turn the soil alkaline which is not good for some plants.
Should you pull up the zucchini plant at the end of the season?
You should pull up the zucchini plants at the end of the season only if it stops fruiting. Otherwise, harvest few more fruits and leave a couple of them in the vine to mature and form seeds. Once you leave some fruits to mature in the plant, they will stop fruiting to save resources for seeds.
Once it is dead, you can pull it out and do whatever you want. Composting is a beneficial option to try. You can get free compost for your plant with dead and decaying zucchini vines.
You can also feed these vines to your herbivore pets like cows, goats, sheep, or maybe deers.
What to do with zucchini plants when it’s done?
Just pull it off and dump it in the compost bin. Composting is the best option to try with zucchini plants when it is done. If you really want to do it effectively then chop all the infected branches and select only the healthy ones.
Let the vines dry in full sun for a couple of days. Then Mix it with some old compost. Spray some water for moisture and cover it with a tarp or plastic sheet. It will keep the mixture warm during the cold winter season. Covering also prevents any possible infestation.
Once the winter is over and the soil defrizzes the uncover the mixture and give it a complete churn. Aerate the mixture as much as possible and keep it moist. Your zucchini vine compost will be ready before the transplantation of new zucchini plants. good luck.
Check out this before leaving: How many zucchini can you get from one plant?
Leave a couple of fruits in the zucchini vine at the end of the season. They will mature and form seeds. Eventually, the plant will stop fruiting and you can proceed. Once the plant is dead, pull it out of the soil carefully. These vines can have extended fibrous roots spread over several meters in the garden.
Let it dry for few days and then either feed it to the cattle or compost it with other organic kitchen waste. This is all you need to do with your zucchini plant at the end f the growing season.
I hope you like it- write your thoughts and opinions about this topic. I’ll be back with another interesting topic. Till then keep reading keep gardening!