Carol, one of my readers, brought this trick to my attention. Usually zucchini plants require a lot of space–in a square foot garden, it takes 9 squares. I tried giving it less space and growing it on a trellis, but that didn’t really work.
By pruning and staking zucchini, you can grow them in significantly less space, with no loss of productivity. Here’s how it works.
- Plant a 4′ stake in the ground right next to your zucchini. It’s best to do this at the time you plant the seeds, so you don’t risk damaging the roots.
- As the zucchini grows and produces fruit, cut off all leaves between the fruit and the ground. When it gets long enough, tie the vine to the stake.
Not only does this take up less space, it makes it so much easier to see when the zucchini is ready to be picked.
Last year I tried pruning the zucchini; the plant yielded less, but I still had plenty of zucchini. From Carol’s pictures, it looks like it only takes up one square–so you could grow zucchini in 2 or 3 squares, get the same harvest using just 1/3 of the space.
Here is a video where Carol learned how to do this. Watch from 6:05 to 7:05 to see the zucchini.