Growing sites must provide at least six hours of direct sunlight daily; zucchini doesn't produce well in the shade. Planting near a south-facing wall will maximize sun exposure and covering the garden bed with black plastic helps raise soil temperatures throughout the growing season.
Well-drained soil retains moisture so it doesn't dry completely, but it also drains the excess so it doesn't become soggy or waterlogged. Although zucchini can grow well in rich soil amended with compost, most garden beds require additional fertilization for best production.
Applying 2 cups of 16-16-8 fertilizer per 50 square feet of garden before you plant supplies initial nutrients. Even moisture prevents plant stress and helps the zucchini remain healthy and productive.
Zucchini (Suburbia peso), is a dark green or yellow summer squash that prefers warm to hot sunny weather and moist, well-drained soil. Also called marrow, this vegetable originated in Central and South America about 6000 years ago under conditions that make it a very suitable California crop.
Very high summer temperatures can damage zucchini plants, however, especially if your crop is suffering from water stress. If your crop suddenly increases in size, you may pluck off zucchini flowers for use in stir-fry or stuffing.
The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension recommends watering zucchini plants deeply once a week when weather is relatively cool. When temperatures increase, however, the soil evaporation rate goes up, potentially depriving these thirsty plants of water.
Leaf loss due to this fungal infection causes previously sheltered fruit to become suddenly exposed to the sun, increasing the risk of pale, spongy patches on the surface of the squash. While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to consume zucchini fresh, preserving them turns out to be a bit trickier.
This usually comes in the form of vinegar, which is unfortunate, when all you really want is a slice of double chocolate zucchini bread in the thick of winter. Don’t despair about the idea of perfectly sliced zucchini bread in the middle of January, however.
Freezing shredded zucchini is the answer to all your cold weather troubles. Once it is tucked away safely in the freezer, all you need to do is thaw the shredded zucchini before baking, being sure to squeeze out the excess moisture.
Quite possibly the easiest way to preserve a glut of zucchini is to freeze it. Within the preservation method of freezing, you can cut it, slice it or dice it any way you like.
If what you are after is a nice texture, it is a better bet to dehydrate your noodles, or get your fill of eating them fresh. Otherwise, refrozen noodles may be a great time-saver as the noodles can be added to boiling water and cooked for just a minute or two.
It is not just a baby food, it is a sort of mild green sauce that you can add to soups, stews and baked goods. If your freezer is already full (or with the intention to be stuffed) with corn, peas, chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower or carrots (also low-acid foods), then you may, or may not have sufficient room left over for zucchini.
With a garden that produces a lot of zucchini, several pounds in a less than ideal year, it is good to have several preserving options. If you are seeking to save pantry space, dehydrating at least a portion of your harvest will accomplish just that.
4 pounds of zucchini can be dried to fit into one pint sized jar! If you are looking after your health in this way, or just happen to be adventurous enough to try something new, zucchini chips are the perfect treat.
In the first step, slice your young zucchini as evenly as possible, by hand or with a machine. Sprinkle with a little olive oil for a lovely crunch, then season them with spices of your choice.
Homemade garlic powder tastes amazing, as does thyme, oregano and sesame seeds with a pinch of salt. To make these, you will either need a steady hand and a sharp knife, a two-sided vegetable peeler or a spiralizer.
If you are going to be eating oodles of noodles when squash, carrots and zucchini is in season, I encourage you to consider getting a spiralizer. You can totally dry out the shredded zucchini, to the point where it is crunchy.
In times and places where you cannot get cucumbers to grow, zucchini will likely emerge as a survivor. As they get larger, you might want to cut them into spears or flat slices for tucking into a sandwich.
Zucchini relish is a wonderful way to use up slightly larger fruits that have sat a little too long on the vine. A simple way to test for this is to cut off a small slice from the bottom end, put it to your tongue and feel for the response.
This canned zucchini salsa recipe uses up 18-24 cups of finely chopped zucchini, along with sweet white onions, green and red bell peppers, several jalapeño peppers, garlic, tomatoes, vinegar, salt and spices. Work is involved in the preparation, though the 15-18 pints in the end will be totally worth it.
Although I’ve never canned zucchini salsa personally, it does seem like it would go well with a nice crunchy tortilla chip and it is a must add to our list of new canning recipes to try this summer. Be creative in the kitchen and incorporate it into soups or stews for enhanced flavor and nutritional value too.
It is tangy, citrus and spicy with generous amounts of orange, lemon and ginger. Beyond that, it is an enlightened way to add nasturtiums to your canned goods, for the beautiful color, of course.
It is also good to avoid canning and freezing older zucchini because there will be a loss of flavor, as well as the seeds to contend with. If no-waste is your goal, make sure to plant some zucchini this year (or next) as they can be eaten from blossom to seed.
Sow zucchini seeds on their side so that water easily drains off to avoid the risk of them rotting. Alternatively, sow them outside under cloches or horticultural fleece (row covers) if the weather is warm enough.
My theory is that this draws in insects such as bees who will return to the plants once the female flowers are produced, and this will enhance successful pollination. When this happens the fruits will stop growing, turn yellow and may start to rot.
Stressed plants may also abort their fruits, so make sure you keep them well-watered and protect them with fleece or similar if the weather turns cold. Zucchini affected by CMV will show mottled, puckered leaves, and the fruits will be distorted and bitter-tasting.