The plant looks fine: big green leaves, nearly 5 feet tall, lots of
flowers. The zuchs grow to about the size of your little finger, then
the flower wilts and the zuch starts browning where the base of the
flower had been. The crook neck next to it is a little slow but seems to
be progressing with small yellow fruit. The plants are on a drip line
(emitter every twelve inches, 1/2 gal./hr.). It has been fed and mulched
and the nearest plant is three feet away from it. They get about six
hours of full sun/day. The temp has been at least 80F for the last month
although it does drop down to the low 50sF at night.
Last year I had two zuchs, so this year I planted one. Any ideas?
Sounds like they aren't getting pollinated. That is especially a
problem when you only have one or two. Personally, I plan to
have maybe four or five this coming spring.
The flowers on the ends of the small zucchinis are female. The
flowers on regular stems are male. There has to be one of each
open at the same time for pollination to happen. Check them each
morning, and if you see an eligible couple, take the male flower
off, peel the petals back, and smoosh it into the female flower.
Four or five zucchini? Are you mad, man? No way you can eat it as fast
as it grows. I can hardly wait for the headlines, "Rouge Zuchs loose in
Que tips, huh? This appeals to my boyish sense of perversion. Now where
did I leave my rubber gloves?
Anyway, thanks everybody.
I agree that the problem is most likely poor pollenation and that you need
more than one plant to ensure a crop. Next time, plant one hill where you
allow the three strongest seedlings to grow. Unless you/re way north, you
still have time to replant and have some to eat come mid-September.
You may get more than you want, but there/s no rule saying you have to eat
them all. Throw the excess into the compost pile.
Don't compost them!! Expand your cooking horizons. This recipe for
Zucchini bread (actually a sweet cake loaf) is delicious, both warm and
cold, and no one will believe that it contains zucchini. Spread with
butter if eaten cold.
quarter teaspoon Baking Powder
1 level teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 & a quarter cups caster sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 cup walnuts
1 cup oil
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups plain flour
Set oven at 180 deg C. Line 2 loaf tins. Beat eggs till light and
foamy. Add sugar, vanilla and oil. Beat till thick and mousse-like.
Stir in the grated zucchini.
Sift together flour,baking powder,salt,bicarb soda and cinnamon. Fold
this into the zucchini mixture with the roughly chopped walnuts.
Pour into tins and bake in pre heated moderate oven for 1- 1 and a half
hours or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Use only tender fresh zucchini. (If large, peel and seed before
grating). Light maize, peanut or safflower oil give good results.
Stir in zucchini and don't beat.
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
I usually plant 5 or 6. My plan is to pick them very small and keep
ahead of them so they don't push me out of my yard. I always fail,
sometime soon after the first week of harvest.
My plan B is to pick all the ones that got over sized and throw them on
the compost pile, then start again eating the small ones. At the end of
the season, I just let them go in case my wife feels like making
zucchini bread with the resulting large ones.
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