Squash is probably the most popular vegetable in Russian vegetable gardens. They are very fond of our gardeners for unpretentiousness, abundant harvests and the ability to use fresh vegetables from their garden in June. Squashes are famous for their raznosortitsy. There are varieties that differ in ripening, color, and form. Squashes are white, yellow, green, striped, serpentine, almost round, thin, thick, there is even a pear-shaped squash and zucchini-spaghetti.
A bit of history
And what, in principle, is this vegetable? Squash belongs to the pumpkin family, an annual, heat-loving plant. It has large, powerful leaves, increased vegetative mass, active and very strong root system. His homeland is America.
People began to grow zucchini in ancient times, about four thousand years ago. And he reached Europe only in the middle of the XVI century. In those days, this plant was considered decorative because of its beautiful, large, bright flowers. In Russia, zucchini appeared in the eighteenth century, and then because of the admiration of the then Russian bohemian in front of all Italian. Trying to become like the Italians in everything, in rich houses they began to serve dishes from young, weekly greens, the use of which is still popular, because the larger the zucchini, the rougher its flesh.
Zucchini is a type of herbaceous shrub or climbing plants, with a powerful upright or creeping stem, which has distinct edges. The leaves are very large, hard, shaped like a paw print of an animal of unprecedented size with five fingers. Both on the leaves and on the thick petioles there is a thorny spike edge. Pollination in zucchini cross. Flowers of great beauty, bright yellow color, in the form of a large bell. They are monopolies - if a long pedicle, then the flower is male, if short - female.
The fruit of squash usually have an elongated cylindrical or oval shape, with white or creamy pulp. It also happens pear-shaped squash, depending on what kind of seed is planted. Young, immature zucchini has a tender, sweetish flesh and thin skin, seed plants - a firm skin and a coarse and already unsweetened flesh.
The pear-shaped zucchini has an early ripening period, the fruiting period is rather long (from July to the end of September). The shape of the fruit is interesting - pear-shaped, the fruits are not too large from 800 grams to 1.3 kg, the usual length is about 25 cm. The flesh of the pear-shaped zucchini is rich orange in color, with a pleasant aroma. An important difference between a pear-shaped zucchini and other varieties: even after long storage, the skin of a pear-shaped zucchini does not grow coarse and easily gives in to a knife when cutting. This variety is stored very well and for a long time. Photos of pear-shaped zucchini can be seen below.
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This beautiful pear-shaped fruit has a rich chemical composition, which includes various vitamins, trace elements and mineral salts. In addition, a pear-shaped zucchini contains pectins and antioxidants, which will undoubtedly bring great health benefits. And if you add its low calorie content (270 kcal / kg), then you can safely call this vegetable simply indispensable on the dietary table. Many hostesses especially like pear-shaped zucchini fritters. In terms of aroma and beautiful orange color, they simply have no equal!
What is the use of pear zucchini
- removes from the body radionuclides;
- participates in the rejuvenation and skin lightening;
- restores metabolism;
- reduces cholesterol levels in the blood;
- strengthens the cardiovascular system, due to the high content of magnesium and potassium;
- hemoglobin restores to normal;
- gently removes excess fluid from the body;
- positive effect on the liver;
- due to the content of natural sugar is indicated for use by patients with diabetes mellitus.
Pear-shaped courgettes tend to be digested quickly, and besides, they do not cause allergies, so they are well suited for eating as sick people and children. As food can be used and squash flowers. They are added to soups, salads, baked in the oven. Since during the heat treatment the antioxidants contained in the zucchini are destroyed, it is best to cook dishes from such a wonderful vegetable like a pear-shaped zucchini, suitable oven or microwave.
The greatest value of pear-shaped courgettes in the increased content of beta-carotene, so the benefits of the use of data zucchini really invaluable.
If there is a desire to get an earlier harvest of pear-shaped squash, then, of course, it is better to plant them in open ground through seedlings.
How to grow seedlings
Sowing pear-shaped courgettes seeds is sown in the twentieth of April, maximum in early May for cultivation in an open garden, and for a greenhouse - in the last days of February, since seedlings can be planted in the greenhouse as early as April.
For the cultivation of seedlings of pear-shaped courgettes, containers of approximately 10 or 12 cm in diameter are best suited. These can be plastic cups, cups of sour cream, cut milk bags, etc. In one cup, you need to plant two or three squash seeds to a depth of about 1-1.5 cm, so that after germination you can choose the strongest sprout, remove the rest.
Important! When planting seeds capacity should be filled with earth only to half.
10-12 days after planting, when the growth of the stem becomes slow, you should fill the wet soil, while twisting the stem with a screw until only the leaves of the cotyledons remain above the surface.
If the pots with seedlings are on the windows facing the south side, then additional lighting is not required. In other cases, it is desirable to organize additional lighting so that the seedlings do not stretch out.
Germination of seeds of pear-shaped courgettes begins at a rather low temperature (+ 13 + 16 ° С), after the emergence of shoots it is necessary to raise the ambient temperature to + 20 + 25 ° С.Tip! After 7-10 days after germination it is necessary to feed the seedlings with complex mineral fertilizer, repeat the feeding after another 7-10 days.
Planting seedlings in open ground
It is possible to plant seedlings of pear-shaped squash on an open garden bed at the end of May-beginning of June, when its age will reach 25-30 days. It should be borne in mind that the squash bush is quite voluminous and takes a lot of space. Therefore, between sprouts pear-shaped courgettes distance should be not less than a meter. It is advisable to fertilize the wells, in which the seedlings will sit down, with two kilograms of humus or compost and thoroughly pour with warm water.
Attention! Approximately one week before the intended landing on the garden bed, it is necessary to harden the seedlings of pear-shaped squash, lowering the temperature to + 14 + 16 ° С.
This can be done by carrying out pots of seedlings in a greenhouse or in senets for several hours.