Here is the Black Beauty Zucchini, Cucurbita pepo. It is an heirloom summer squash prized for its crisp, white flesh and dark green skin. it dates back to the 1920s and was a 1957 All America Selections winner developed by John Scarchuk. They can range from a dark green to almost black in color and produces 6 to 8 inch long fruits. It has a great smooth flavor and best picked young. Plants are not a vine but can grow to 2 - 4 feet long. The fruits have a very long shelf life and can be stored for months! This variety of squash is great for frying and baking but we like to pickle the young fruits in a pickling brine. Open pollinated, 70 to 80 days.
Black Beauty Zucchini
Quantity 6 seeds6 seeds
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Summer and winter squash grow quickly to maturity within 50 days, so quick seed germination isn't really an issue. Winter squashes, on the other hand, need a long, warm growing season. Getting them started as quickly as possible ensures enough time for an ample harvest. When given enough warmth and moisture, squash seeds emerge within 6 to 12 days.
- Direct sow summer squash in the garden in spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to 70°F (21°C). In warm-winter regions, sow squash in midwinter for harvest in early summer.
- Summer squash seeds will not germinate at a soil temperature below 60°F (15°C).
- To get an early start, sow seed indoors 4 to 3 weeks before planting out. The indoor temperature should be 80 to 90°F (27-32°C) until germination. Grow seedlings at 75°F (24°C).
- Start seed indoors in peat pots filled with seed starting mix.
- Sow seed ½ to 1 inch (13mm-2.5 cm) deep.
- Seeds germinate in 7 to 10 days at 85°F (29°C) or warmer.
- Transplant summer squash into the garden after the soil has warmed to at least 70°F (21°C).
- Space plants in the garden 12 to 18 inches (30-45 cm) apart in all directions.
- Thin successful plants to 36 inches (90 cm) apart.
- Water to keep the soil from drying.
- Fertilize with fish emulsion or a soluble complete fertilizer at half strength.
- Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of transplanting.
- Summer squash prefers a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8.
- Grow summer squash in full sun for best yield.
- Avoid planting summer squash where cucumbers or melons have grown recently.
- Common summer squash pest enemies include aphids, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, squash bugs, squash vine borers, slugs, and snails.
- Common diseases include bacterial wilt, fusarium wilt, downy mildew, powdery mildew, cucumber mosaic.
Plant summer squash with bush beans, corn, dill, eggplant, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes.