Zucchini plant in trouble

Tampa, FL

I purchased a Zucchini plant from Home Depot a few weeks ago and I have it in a 12inch pot. I have MG vegetable soil mixed in and I water and give it sunshine on the reg. The plant flowers but the flowers die before opening and Iíve noticed gnats inside the soil. What should I do?? Also, I live in Central Florida if that matters. PLEASE HELP. I love my urban garden and I want it to flourish.

Mesquite, TX

Typically squash and zucchini regardless of type/variety need at least eight hours of full sun per day to produce. While very bright light may be substituted for a bit of that, full unfiltered sunlight is best.
Both the gnats and the unopened flowers suggest to me that you're keeping the soil too moist/wet. Zucchini require only moderate soil moisture to produce and while too little (very dry) will affect overall plant health and vitality, too much (constantly wet) will effectively starve the root system of oxygen leading to other issues.
Cut back on the amount of watering and use a finger pressed 1" into the soil as a guide to tell when the plant needs more.
I'd suggest taking a kitchen fork (the two pronged kind) and fluffing up the soil around the top of the pot every few days until the gnat population starts to diminish. While you could use some chemical solution to effect a quicker death rate, I tend to use chemicals, even relatively benevolent ones as a last resort.
Hope this helps.

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