Black Beauty Zucchini (Summer Squash)
Seed Count: Approx. 10 seeds
Days to Maturity: 50 Days
Description: Black Beauty Zucchini is the classic dark green zucchini that most people know and love. This variety is very prolific, and early maturing. It's delicious fried, baked, stir fried, added to soups, omelets, lasagna, and great for making zoodles. Its creamy white flesh is delicious, and boasts classic zucchini flavor. It is best to pick zucchini young, around 6-8 inches long, before their seeds have a chance to fully develop. You can also pick these smaller for baby zucchini. These plants are fast growing, and will keep producing throughout the summer, as long as you keep the zucchini picked. It's a fast growing variety that grows in an open, compact, bush habit, making it super easy to harvest. Black Beauty zucchini reaches its dark green, almost black color once fruit are fully mature.
Mint2Grow Tip: Zucchini is great for containers. I grow one zucchini plant per 7-10 gallon grow bag. I'll even companion plant them with peas. If I'm really tight on space, I use a tomato cage to keep the leafy growth upright so that I have more walking room in the garden. Try using a mix of shredded zucchini and carrots to make vegan, guilt free brownies. Yum!
How To Grow
Sowing: In cool climates, start seeds indoors a month before the last expected frost. Squashes do not take well to transplanting, so peat pots or pellets are the best option. Plant two seeds per pot 1/2" deep, thinning out the weaker seedling. Make sure to harden seedlings before transplanting. Transplant when the soil temperature reaches at least 65 degrees F, in very rich soil 8-10' apart in rows 10-12' apart. Direct sow in warmer climates when soil reaches 70 degrees F.
Growing: Squash seedlings do not tolerate cold weather, so provide protective coverings if it drops below 65 degrees F. Keep soil moist at all times, however, avoid wetting squash leaves because it can cause diseases such as rot or mildew. When the vines begin to develop, a layer of mulch will help conserve moisture, control weeds, and keep the squashes clean. Squash are susceptible to squash borers, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs. Squash borers can and will kill your plants overnight, so make sure to keep an eye for damage, and take precautions to protect your plants, like applying an organic insecticide or diatomaceous earth. This zucchini has compact growth habits. Companion plant squashes along with corn, but avoid planting them with potatoes.
Harvesting: This zucchini tastes best when harvested picked about 6-8" in length. When it begins to produce mature zucchinis, pick them every day or two to keep the plant productive. They keep well in the fridge for about two weeks and freeze well. When the squash reach their mature size, the seeds are ready for saving. Cut the squash open, remove the seeds, and rinse off the pulp. Put the mixture in a bowl of water to remove the remaining pulp. The good seeds will sink to the bottom. Remove the good seeds and spread them out until completely dry for 2-3 weeks. Store up to four years.