No bitter zucchini: we feed, heal and care for the right way
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Zucchini are close relatives of cucumbers and also belong to the pumpkin family, which tend to accumulate cucurbitacins. It is these substances that give the fruit bitterness. They are always present in small quantities in vegetables and are practically not felt by the taste. An increase in their concentration is most often associated with unfavorable growing conditions.
Imbalance in mineral fertilizers
The increased content of potassium and phosphorus compounds in fruits is expressed by the appearance of a bitter taste. The introduction of nitrogen fertilizers can neutralize the unpleasant taste, but leads to an increased concentration of nitrates.
Zucchini must be properly fed for good development and a rich harvest.
You need to feed zucchini correctly and do not exceed the recommended dosages:
- Before flowering, they are watered with mineral fertilizers dissolved in water (10 l) or granules are scattered under the bushes (embedded in the ground and abundantly spilled with water):
- superphosphate - 45-50 g;
Superphosphate will satisfy the need for phosphorus
- ammonium sulfate - 20-25 g;
Ammonium sulfate (ammonium sulfate) will enrich the soil with nitrogen
- potassium nitrate - 25-30 g;
In the period before flowering, zucchini needs potassium.
- consumption - a bucket for 10-12 bushes.
- superphosphate - 45-50 g;
- Before fruiting:
- potassium nitrate - 35-40 g;
During fruiting, zucchini are fed with potassium-nitrogen fertilizers
- superphosphate - 35-40 g;
The dosage of double superphosphate is approximately halved compared to simple superphosphate
- consumption - a bucket for 6-8 bushes.
- potassium nitrate - 35-40 g;
Adherents of natural farming can use mullein infusion by diluting it in a 1:10 ratio:
- 1-2 liters per plant in the first feeding;
- 3-4 liters in the second.
Mullein can replace mineral chemical fertilizers
Zucchini respond very well to the introduction of complex mineral fertilizers enriched with trace elements.
Photo gallery: complex fertilizers for zucchini
Video: how to feed zucchini
Zucchini are planted in an open area well-lit by the sun's rays. With insufficient illumination, the fruits are loosely tied and bitter.... Plantings need to be thinned, weeded regularly and overgrown tops removed.
Zucchini love open, sun-accessible places
Zucchini need about 15-16 hours of daylight for proper formation.
The zucchini fruit should be in light partial shade.
But the long-term presence of ripening fruits in the strong sun also leads to a deterioration in taste and the appearance of bitterness.
A lack of moisture causes the production of bitter substances in the fruit, an excess of liquid can lead to the same effect. The zucchini will also react to a sharp change in temperature by releasing bitter cucurbitacins, the most unfavorable effect on the taste of the vegetable is a strong prolonged cold snap after a sultry hot period.
Zucchini is watered at the root, directly onto the leaves, as in this photo, no need to pour water
It is necessary to moisten the planting of zucchini moderately, avoiding prolonged overdrying. Pour vegetables with warm water under the root:
- in hot weather, at least once every 3-4 days;
- in cool time, once every 5–6 days.
Video: what gives bitterness to cucumbers and zucchini
Cross-pollination with related crops
In some cases, a bitter taste appears when growing zucchini in the immediate vicinity of some plants (pumpkin, radish, parsley, cucumber, etc.). As a result of cross-pollination, the taste of the fruit becomes bitter.
Zucchini are easily pollinated among themselves and with other related crops
Most often, the neighborhood with a decorative pumpkin, the fruits of which are inedible, has a negative effect on the taste of vegetables.
Often the cause of the bitterness of zucchini is cross-pollination with decorative inedible pumpkin
Only once in my practice have I dealt with bitter zucchini, until then I did not even suspect that such a problem existed. I planted them along the fence, there were no unwanted neighbors near the squash plantings. The bitter taste came as a complete surprise. It turned out that a neighbor, for beauty, planted a couple of seeds of a curly decorative pumpkin on her side of the fence.
Sometimes the defeat of zucchini with some fungal infections can cause the appearance of bitterness in the fruits:
- Fusarium wilting. It is expressed in wilting and drying of the tops, as a result of which photosynthesis is disrupted. Plants receive insufficient nutrition, fruits grow deformed and weak. Affected specimens are removed and preventive treatment with fungicides (Trichodermin, Fitosporin, etc.) of other plants is carried out.
Fusarium wilt of zucchini is almost incurable
- Anthractosis. On the foliage and stems, brownish-yellow weeping spots of a round shape appear. The fruits lose their elasticity, shrivel and rot. At the initial stage, spraying with colloidal sulfur (35%) or Bordeaux liquid (1%) will help. In case of severe damage, diseased plants must be destroyed.
The initial stages of anthractosis on a squash can be treated with Bordeaux liquid
During the period of mass harvesting of fruits, poisonous chemical preparations cannot be used; it is better to use safe folk remedies (dusting with ash, spraying with onion peel infusion, etc.)
How to prevent the appearance of diseases on zucchini
Zucchini: how to remove the bitter taste
The bitterness goes away if the fruits cut into thin slices are soaked for 2-3 hours in salted water (1 tablespoon per 1 liter).
To get rid of the bitterness, zucchini are soaked in salted water.
Some varieties of zucchini are less prone to the accumulation of bitterness (Gribovskiy 37, Skvorushka, Pharaoh).
Competent care and the creation of favorable conditions for the growth of zucchini will help to avoid the appearance of a bitter aftertaste in the fruits.
Sometimes gardeners are faced with the fact that a bitter zucchini grows in the garden. Why might such a problem occur? Bitter cucumbers are not uncommon, sometimes other vegetables and fruits can taste bitter. But it happens quite rarely. Let's try to identify the main reasons.
In fact, cucumber and zucchini are the closest relatives, so the main reason for the appearance of bitterness is the same. It's all about cucurbitacin - this substance accumulates in vegetables and causes a bitter taste. An increase in its concentration in zucchini can occur due to various factors. For example, the lack of regular watering or a sharp change in humidity. That is, if torrential rains were observed during the summer, which were then replaced by long dry periods, then bitter zucchini may well appear in your garden.
The concentration of cucurbitacin also depends on the variety. Breeding work carried out over the years has provided us with varieties that contain a minimum amount of this substance. However, do not forget that there is a risk of cross-pollination with other crops. Bitter and inedible ones are especially dangerous in this regard. Therefore, when choosing a place for a garden, take this factor into account.
Interestingly, to the question "why is the zucchini bitter", many gardeners answer that this arises from an excess of fresh organic fertilizers. However, with an excess of organic matter, another phenomenon arises - an intensive growth of green mass, a decrease in the growth of fruits and a deterioration in their condition.
Why are zucchini bitter after cooking
Everyone loves and in our country is generally out of competition. However, sometimes a dish after cooking has a specific bitter taste. In principle, you can eat it, but somehow you don't want to. So why is zucchini bitter after cooking? There are only two answers to this question. First: the zucchini was initially bitter for some reason, which was already mentioned above. Consequently, the whole dish acquires a specific taste. The second option is that some other product gives bitterness. For example, quite often you can buy on the market or even grow large red hot peppers instead of sweet Bulgarian ones on your site. Just one seed in a bag, and a completely different plant grows on your site. Outwardly, they are quite similar, but hot pepper has a sharp tip. However, if you process large amounts of vegetables, it is easy to miss. This is how hot pepper gets into the common dish and gives it bitterness and pungency. Another cause of bitterness is the rancid sunflower oil that you may have used in cooking. Some seasonings can also add a specific flavor to the dish, so make sure that you are not mistaken with the recipe.
Improper watering of garden culture
Not everyone has the opportunity to live in the country all summer. Having sown vegetables, many gardeners visit the site a couple of times a week. Arriving at noon in hot weather, they immediately turn on the pump and begin to water the beds. With this irrigation, the zucchini leaves curl and dry, as they get sunburn. To moisturize, you need to find time in the morning or stay at the cottage until late at night.
After watering and weeding, you need to cover the bed with straw or mulch with peat, then the water will evaporate less.
There are many advisers, but only eyes
I read a few more similar articles, but there were already rehash of the previous two, so I did not learn anything new.
But the folk remedies for involuntary lacrimation, which I found on some grandmother's website, personally raised doubts in me. Judge for yourself.
For example, they propose to make eye lotions from the infusion of dill seeds, supposedly, this is some kind of ancient recipe. Or make a compress from red rose petals. And I personally would not dare to bury my eyes with homemade cumin drops.
The cherry on the cake, I quote: "The effectiveness of the treatment depends on how much faith in its success will be!"
Cool. The main thing is that there is a suitable excuse. Didn't the suggested tips help? And all because there was no real faith in you.
Barren flowers are normally formed on zucchini: as we have already found out, these flowers are necessary for pollination. But sometimes it happens that there are many times more flowers that do not give an ovary than there are female flowers. It is important to understand why this is happening and why your squash is blooming.
Abundant education can be caused by:
- Plant diseases. Vegetables are often infected with the mosaic virus, which delays the development of plants. In this case, they do not bear fruit or give only barren flowers. Not only leaves infected with the virus, but also entire bushes must be removed to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition to the mosaic virus, the plant is also affected by powdery mildew - fungal colonies that deform the leaf and stalk. This also delays the growth of the culture, the main potential of the plant is spent on fighting the fungus, while there are no resources left for the ovary. Sometimes zucchini are also affected by white rot: a white bloom appears on the fruits, which soon turns black, causing the fruit to rot.
- Weather. In the case when the summer turned out to be especially rainy and cool, the problem may be in insects - they do not appear in cloudy weather. In addition, pollen damp rather quickly. But in such cases, you can artificially pollinate flowers by manually transferring pollen to the stigma of a female flower. In this case, you need to carefully monitor the state of the pollen - it should not be stuck together and matted.
- Old seeds. As a rule, seeds that are stored for too long (more than a year), or are stored in unsuitable conditions, at low temperatures, predominantly produce male flowers. Female flowers also grow, but in much smaller quantities. Thus, it turns out that the harvest is rather meager.
- Wrong landing site. Zucchini are not very demanding plants, but on some soil they take root especially poorly. For example, if plants are planted in dense shade, they will suffer from powdery mildew, and insects that should pollinate the crop will practically not appear in this place.
- Excessive plant care. When you water your beds too often, an unpleasant moment can happen - the pollen will stick together or completely wash off the male flowers, and then pollination will be impossible. It is also necessary to take into account the characteristics of the soil. On dense clay soils, excessive watering and lack of ventilation can lead to rotting of the ovaries.
- Pest insects. Pests damage the leaves, stems, and sometimes flowers of the culture. This leads to the fact that plants spend more energy on maintaining their integrity, and not on fruiting. Among the most common insects that harm the growth of a squash culture are spider mites, aphids and sprout flies.
The first reason is the low acidity of the soil
If you planted healthy seedlings of tall blueberries with green leaves on your site, and after a couple of weeks noticed that the leaf plates began to turn red (and not just become covered with spots, but turn red completely, like in autumn), then the soil has a low level of acidity. Blueberries of all varieties prefer light acidic (3.5-4.5 pH) soils and, with a lack of acid, changes the color of the leaves.
To increase acidity, dissolve 1 tsp. citric or oxalic acid in 3 liters of water, or dilute 100 ml of 9% acetic acid in 10 liters of water. Spill the soil with the resulting liquid. For the same purpose, experienced gardeners often use an electrolyte for batteries (you can buy it at a car dealership). Using a syringe, draw up 10 ml of this liquid, dissolve it in 10 liters of water and pour it under the bush.
Do not be discouraged if, after adding acid, the blueberry leaves are in no hurry to turn green. Give the plant a couple of days, because it is experiencing not only a lack of acid, but also stress due to a change in the place of growth. If after 10-12 days the color of the leaves has not returned to normal, re-spill the soil with an acidic solution.
Before planting garden blueberries, make sure the soil is acidic enough in the area allocated for this plant.
Diseases of grapes
If the leaf does not turn completely pale, but becomes covered with spots, most likely, the grapes were struck by one of the diseases to which it is prone. Pale oil spots speak of grape mildew, light spots with a powdery bloom - of powdery mildew. Plants are saved from mildew with the help of drugs: Bordeaux liquid, copper sulfate, HOM, Strobi, Kurzat, Kuprolux, Ordan, Profit Gold, Thanos, Shirma, Keeper, Fitosporin-M, Alirin-B and others.
Oidium is fought with means such as colloidal sulfur, Tiovit Jet, Horus, Topaz, Agrolekar, Skor, Abiga-Peak, Medea, Sporobacterin, Albit and others.
Treatment and prevention in both cases is carried out according to the instructions.
Occasionally, light spots can be the result of pests. Many of them can be seen on damaged plants with the naked eye.
Have you ever encountered the blanching of grape leaves? What caused it and how did you treat your garden culture?