Tough-skinned zucchini?

Gardening expert Conway Lum reveals how to grow the perfect zucchini,

Q: The zucchini in our garden ends up with very tough skin, and it doesn’t matter if it’s young or if it’s more mature. Is this because of a deficiency in the soil?

Tough skin on zucchini is usually a cultural problem. Ensure plants are properly spaced to allow for adequate growth. Maintain consistent watering – especially when the fruit is developing – with 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in.) of water per week soaked into the soil at least 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in.) deep. A high nitrogen level is required for development before flowering occurs. Mulch your beds with compost to maintain consistent moisture in the soil. The idea is to grow zucchini quickly, assuming we have good warm weather, without any interruption to plant development that results in tough skin.