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Zucchini Grow WELL in Portable Farms

Zucchini! OH YUM. You can cook almost anything with zucchini and they are EASY to grow year round in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System! Generally, zucchini are grown during the summer (May to August in the Northern Hemisphere). Zucchini is a small summer squash (a vegetable) that looks like a cucumber but has yellow flesh inside after you peel off its think dark-green skin.

Zucchini production from a single full size 1.5m x 12m (18m2) Grow Tray in a Portable Farms Aquaponics System :

  • Each Grow Tray can hold 120 plants (50cm x 30cm centers) and be planted three to four times per year
  • Production is normally over a 20 to 35 day period
  • Because the plants are very small when initially planted there is a two to three month growing period before harvest
  • Staking or trellising may be required and can be installed permanently
  • Zucchini yield is between 1.5 and 4k per plant depending on variety
  • Yield per plant is 12 to 17 zucchini per plant depending on variety
  • No pesticides, fungicides or artificial fertilizers are ever used
  • Zucchini can be harvested and used the same day for peak flavor and texture
  • Yields 660 lbs to 1,760 lbs [300 to 800kg] every four months
  • Yield 1,980 lbs to 5,300lbs [900 to 2400kg] per year
  • 68lbs [31kg] per week
  • 10lbs [4.5kg] per day

Using the lowest yield with the shortest harvest season and three crops per space per year the Return On Investment will be approximately 1.1 years [68 lbs [31kg] x 52 weeks = 3,536 lbs [1,612kg] of zucchini per year per module] and priced at $1.00 per pound]. In most cases this production number will be much higher and will continue to rise as the operators become more skilled and the system matures.

Labor costs are higher than with lettuce because of the pruning, training and harvesting of peppers. This is true for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and any plant that requires extra time after planting. Lettuces does not, plant it and then a few weeks later harvest it and plant the same place again. One person can operate a 10,000 sq ft PFAS if they are only growing lettuce. With other bush or vine crops two to four additional personnel are required.

Please note: The above numbers are based on the lowest expected yields from field grown crops, use the shortest possible harvest time plus the longest time from transplant to finish harvest. In other words, the lowest possible output from the Module for this crop is shown. The actual output from each Module can and probably will be from two to four times as high resulting in a much shorter ROI.


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    • Kevin on 2018-02-27 at 7:57 am
    • Reply

    Is there an alternative to simple self pollination, such as “dusting” the plants, and where might one find such pollen ?

    1. Kevin,

      Most modern vegetable plants are self pollinating. One of the exceptions are tomatoes, however a little movement of the plant is enough to imitate the act, thru one can use a fan or an electric toothbrush if one is inclined.


    • Joe on 2013-12-04 at 9:10 am
    • Reply

    How do you deal with pollination? Outside in my garden there are bees and wind, If it’s all enclosed how would that work?

    1. Joe,

      Most modern garden vegetables are wind or self pollinated. We enhance the pollination in the PFAS by using a cheap electric toothbrush and touch the back of the blossom branch. This enhances the fruit set and is very easy to do. Sometimes we put on a little Berry Manilow music and carry a glass of champagne with us to enhance the mood. The Aquaponics University Course covers pollination in much greater depth.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • chris on 2012-03-11 at 4:55 pm
    • Reply

    I was looking at your module (5 feet x 40 feet). Is 5 feet wide too wide for short people to comfortably work? I am 5 feet and of course have short arms!
    Thanks very much,

    1. Chris,

      You can make the Modules any width you want. The one on our patio is only three feet wide as were hundreds of our early systems. You can also make an elevated walkway to help you reach the veges. Have fun.


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