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Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) or zucchini is a gourd crop of food and fodder value, a type of pumpkin.

Summer squash, a group of zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)
Summer squash, a group of zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)
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©Silar (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Economic importance

In addition to table use, it is also used for feed purposes as a succulent feed. Due to the short growing season and the rapid growth of fruits, zucchini crops move farthest to the north, compared to other gourds.

The fruits and tops of zucchini are suitable for ensiling mixed with other crops, such as corn , sunflower , vetch-oat mixture. In terms of nutritional value and digestibility, it is not inferior to fodder beet and turnip. 100 kg of zucchini fruits correspond to 6.7-9.7 feed units and contain 0.7-1.0 kg of digestible protein, 100 kg of tops – 3.7 feed units and 0.8 kg, respectively.

Honey plant.

Cultural history

The zucchini comes from Central America.


Productivity reaches 40-50 t/ha.

Botanical description

Zucchini – a kind of pumpkin – Cucurbita pero var. giraumonas Duch.

The root is well developed.

The stem is short, pubescent, leafy.

Leaves are pentagonal, pubescent.

Flowers unisexual, solitary, yellow. The plant is monoecious.

Fruits are oblong-irregularly cylindrical in shape with a grayish-white, greenish, pinkish color. When used in an unripe form, the bark is soft, when ripe it becomes hard.

Seeds are elongated flat, yellow, 2 times smaller than those of a pumpkin. Weight of 1000 pieces – 60-80 g.

Biological features

Zucchini is less demanding on heat than other gourds, but is also easily damaged by frost. Drought tolerant.

Seedlings appear at a temperature of 11-12 °C, preferably at 14-15 °C.

It is not picky about soils, but infertile, heavy, floating, waterlogged, acidic and solonetsous are not suitable.

Agricultural technology of cultivation

General recommendations on agricultural practices for cultivating zucchini are similar to those for all gourds.


Recommended sowing schemes 0.7×0.7 m or 0.7×1.0 m.

The seeding rate is 2.4 kg/ha (10-20 thousand seeds/ha). The depth of sowing seeds is 4-6 cm. 1-2 plants are planted in the nest.


Harvesting of zucchini fruits is carried out in 2-3 doses as they ripen.

Zucchini fruits for food purposes are harvested young until the peel is coarsened and the size is 20-25 cm. Fruits are harvested regularly at intervals of 10-15 days, which contributes to the formation of new ovaries and their accelerated development.

In warm and dry rooms, fruits can be stored all winter.


Crop production / P.P. Vavilov, V.V. Gritsenko, V.S. Kuznetsov and others; Ed. P.P. Vavilov. – 5th ed., revised. and additional – M.: Agropromizdat, 1986. – 512 p.: ill. – (Textbook and textbooks for higher educational institutions).

V.V. Kolomeichenko. Crop production / Textbook. — M.: Agrobusinesscenter, 2007. — 600 p. ISBN 978-5-902792-11-6.

Fundamentals of agricultural production technology. Agriculture and crop production. Ed. V.S. Niklyaev. – M .: “Epic”, 2000. – 555 p.