The way to Grow Black Beauty Zucchini in a Container
“Black Beauty” zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) is also a heirloom summer squash prized because of its smooth, white flesh and dark skin. This early-maturing zucchini is ready to harvest in just 48 days and produces an abundance of slender fruit. While it is traditionally grown in the vegetable garden, it may be grown in containers as long as it receives adequate light, moisture and nutrients. This warm-season veggie cannot withstand frost and has to be planted after all danger of frost has passed in your area.
Select a container for your “Black Beauty” zucchini plants using a depth of at least 16 to 18 inches. This provides the roots room to grow and holds sufficient soil to provide the moisture and nutrients that the plants need. Ample containers with straight sides are far better able to support the weight of growing plants and also resist tilting at the wind. Start looking for a container that is at least 18 inches wide to balance the weight of your “Black Beauty” zucchini plant.
Check the container has drainage holes in the bottom and they’re free of debris. Fantastic drainage is critical to prevent soggy soil, which may lead to root rot. If your container doesn’t have drainage holes, then drill four or three 1/2 holes evenly spaced in the bottom of the pot.
Wash the container using a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water. Scrub the inside and rim of the pot using a scrub brush to remove soil and deposits. This is important for employed pots as they may include plant pathogens, but is also important for recycled containers because they might include other dangerous organisms. The bleach solution kills bacteria, leaving your container ready for planting. Rinse away and residue and allow the pot to air dry.
Move the container to its permanent location, where it will receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. Put a piece of landscape fabric or display in the bottom of the container to avoid soil from leaching through the holes. Fill the container to within 3 or 4 inches of the top with a mixture of equal parts peat moss, potting soil and perlite. Garden soil or deep potting soil mixtures aren’t suitable for growing “Black Beauty” zucchini in containers as they compact readily from regular watering and might pose problems with drainage.
Make a hole in the soil twice the magnitude of the root ball of your “Black Beauty” zucchini seedling. Position the origins of the seedling into the hole and fill in around the roots with fresh soil. Firm the soil down with your hands to secure the plant and remove air pockets around the roots.
Water the container thoroughly until water runs freely through the bottom of the container. This ensures that all the soil in the container is moist. Water again when the soil feels dry 1-inch under the surface. “Black Beauty” zucchinis generally like 1 to 2 inches of rain a week, but, soil in containers tends to dry fast. Your zucchini plants might require daily watering during hot, dry spells or during periods of active development. Use the health of your plants and the moisture level in the soil as your guide to come up with a watering pattern. Remember soil should be moist, but never soggy.
Apply water-soluble fertilizer designed for vegetables, like 24-8-16, mixed to a speed of 1/2 tablespoon per gallon of water every 2 weeks, starting when the plants are 2 to 4 weeks old. This remedy is a half-strength solution recommended by the University of Arizona Extension. It notes that nutrients leach through the soil in containers using repeated watering and also need to be replaced often.