Zuchinni Size

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I thought my zuchini were done for the season and hadn't check my vines till yesterday and found a four pounder on the vine. Being a rookie, I've been told they get bitter when they get too big. It has good dark green color. Any Thought out there?
--
Mike & Cheryl Tindall



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| I thought my zuchini were done for the season and hadn't check my vines till | yesterday and found a four pounder on the vine. Being a rookie, I've been | told they get bitter when they get too big. It has good dark green color. | Any Thought out there? | | -- | Mike & Cheryl Tindall | |
Time to make some bread.
--
TQ



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"TQ" <ToweringQs AT adelphia.net> wrote:

or zuchini soup, delicious stuff.
--
SteveO

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On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 19:32:01 -0500 in

The problem I've had with them is that they get pithy when they get big... however, if you do a zuke casserole, pithy doesn't matter much. However, you may want to taste it first to see if it <is> bitter.
Of course, there's a limit to just how pithy it is before it's the consistency of bark. Try one and see.
Now, as for bitterness... I'm curious if anyone knows, can Magnesium solve this for a lot of veggies on older plants? Not after formation, but fruit formation on a late-season plant. I've used epsom salts on cucumbers, especially lemon cukes, and it works fine. Does this go for other veggies known to get bitter?
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If you have a dehydrator, make dried zucchini chips (unflavored or flavored). I was away one week myself, the neighbors kept picking tomatoes and cucumbers, but no one of them likes zucchini, so I have four of those myself right now.
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ToweringQs.AT.adelphia.net writes:

Or slice and dehydrate them as suggested last year. I tried it; they are good that way! (And I don't generally like zuchinni
Glenna
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Ask someone for the cinnimon pickle recipe for cukes that are too big for anything else.
Dwayne

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How do you tell a zuchinni plant from a cucumber plant? Do you have to wait for the fruit to grow? It is a fruit, right? Not a vegetable?
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Jim Carlock
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On Fri, 03 Sep 2004 00:24:55 GMT, "Jim Carlock"

No, it's a vegetable. Well, botanically speaking it is indeed a fruit (like many other foods we regard as vegetables). Speaking from a cooking and eating point of view, it is a vegetable.
If you're in the UK (or many other places), you call this vegetable 'courgettes'.
How do I tell it from a cucumber plant? The leaves look different. I cannot describe the difference to you, but I recognize when I see it. Zucchini plants are MUCH less apt to climb up something than are cucumber plants too.
HTH. Pat
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You can tell at an early stage. The zuchinni is a much sturdier plant, with thick stems and leaves larger than an A4 sheet of paper, and flowers opening to about the size of man's fist. The cucumber is a more delicate plant, with leaves smaller than a cigarette packet and flowers no larger than the size of a man's thumbnail. The cuc is a spreading creeper, while most of the newer zuchinnis are clumping.
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John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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The cucumber plants I have, have leaves about 5" x 5". The flowers on it are about 1" to 1.25" in diameter. The first cucumber was very good. This plant is a Marketmore 76 and is doing quite well. A lot of cucumbers are trying to grow upon it, it's had about dozen fruits start, but only one cucumber made it through the summer. It's got three more young cucumbers starting on it and it looks like it likes the liquid fertilization I'm giving to it... a 1-2-1 type where I put a tablespoon into a 2-gallon container of water. It seems to love getting that a few times a week. It is growing up a chain link fence and the vine is about 6 or 7 feet in length currently. The hurricanes have taken a toll on it and it's lost most of it's lower leaves. It seems to definitely like a moist soil, ie watering at least two, but seeming to prefer three times a day.
The size of the leaves contadicts what you've stated. I did plant a zuchini but it didn't make it through Hurricane Frances. The other cucumber plants I have, a extra long yamato (Ferry Morse) never fruited. I had two of those growing side by side, but neither fruited and one died.
The yamato were planted in well fertilized soil outdoors, while the Marketmore 76 were planted in sandy soil. I applied some slow release fertilization at the time of seeding.
The cucumbers seem to like sunlight as long as the temp isn't too hot.
The Marketmore 76 cucumbers start off growing with prickly nubbies on it and I wonder what's up with the nubbies. :-) They seem to rub off and I'm thinking along the lines that over time, only the nubbie cukes survived the insects (?).
Also, I noticed something likes to burrow into them when they reach ripeness. I need to find some more information about cukes and start reading up on them again.
Thanks, John for your comments. It's been awhile since I've posted this and didn't think anyone ever replied. I'll have to look over google for the replies.
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Jim;
John is right on on the difference between a cucumber plant and a zucchini. Most zucchinis are stocky bushy plants with leaves at leat 4 times larger than a cuke. There are vining zukes but they are relatively rare most cultivars bush like other summer squash. Blossoms are also huge in comparison to cucumber and cantaloupe plants. Even a blind man would not confused the two when grown side by side. If you are in the southeast (texas to Georgia, fall plantings are very suceptible to pickle worms. The only control is more insecticide applications than I am willing to use.
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Thanks FarmerDill.
I've posted some pics of the cucumber that came off the plant. The cuke was planted outside from a packet of Ferry Morse Marketmore 76 seeds.
The leaves are about 5 inches wide, 5 inches high... John Savage mentioned an A4 size paper. If that's the 11x17 I will be thrilled and I think I will plant some seeds tonight.
I did pull some out of a package at one time, but I don't think they ever germinated. If they did, they were the plants that never made it past 3 inches high. Oh I have some DM Ferry Poinsett seeds as well that have been opened. Could be that set of seeds as well.
The Zuke seeds I have are some from a Walmart American Seed (Squash Dark Green Zucchini) 10 cent package. <g>
You guys got me excited about 20 inch leaves. If the Zuchs are not vines... what a shame... I got all excited about 17 inch leaves on a vine. Awhh shucks. 17 inch leaves though... awesome! I guess I'll have to space it away from some of the other stuff.
I'm in Tampa, FL. The soil is sandy for the most part. I've been throwing some of that Viagro fertilizing pellets around.
I'm thinking the Yamato Cucumbers didn't fruit because they are in the shade all day long, getting indirect sun. While the Marketmore 76 cukes are in the shade getting some direct sun, but not too much, as they are in the shade as well. They seem to like the watered down fertilizer I've been using.
Water seems to pass down through their soil/sand pretty easily so I threw a bunch of sphagnum peat on top, I'm not sure if that is the way to go.
Coffee grounds don't seem to be very helpful for Cucumbers. I'm wondering if I should be throwing some banana peals down there?
In May or June, we had some roses that were hit by Black Spot. All the leaves and branches were cut off because baking soda and vegetable oil didn't seem to help. It struggled to grow leaves, and I decided to stick some banana peels into the blender and put the peels into the area around the roots. That worked wonderfully! The bush grew plenty of leaves and roses in about a month.
So I'm wondering if the same thing might help with cucumbers. I want to take some of the burden of using that powdered fertilizer away. Any comments or suggestions regarding that will be greatly appreciated.
http://www.microcosmotalk.com/images/garden/cucumber /
The only thing I was unsure about was that all of my cuke leaves are bigger than cigarette packs, so I was just leaning into that John might have misposted something, because the cuke leaves I'm seeing are 2x the size of a cigarette pack... of course I don't smoke and maybe John's smokes cigars and calls 'em cigarettes. ;-) What do I know? I've seen Arnold Schwarzenager smoke a good size cigarette (cigar) in a movie but that was just a movie and we all know about the "bigger fish" stories that movies employ.
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Jim Carlock
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Jim. Your pictures are about right for cucumbers. http://davesgarden.com/pdb/go/65600/index . contains picture of the zucchinni Senator which is somewhar similar to the Dark Green. O fcourse if you want large leaves on a vining plant, try a winter squash or pumpkin. Of course these vines take up a lot of space.
Poinsett will be visually indistinguisable from Market more 76. You may notice a difference in yields.
The soil in this part of Georgia is also sand and benefits greatly from any type of organic matter being incorporated. If you use spagnum however, you wil need to add dolomitic limestone to keep you soil pH up.

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If I want to make the vine healthier, grow more cukes, is there something suggested in order to do this?
--
Jim Carlock
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By the time it is bearing a zucchini will have broader leaves, yes, up to about 20 inches would be right.

They like good drainage, plenty of mulch, and regular watering.

Also, the bees can easily overlook the smaller flowers of cucumbers when there are bigger flowers around. You can try pollinating them by hand: pick the male flower, strip off all petals, and rub the stamens inside that day's newly opened female flowers.

Mildew is the bane of cucumbers and zucchinis. When you water don't wet their leaves. Poke the end of the hose into the soil near the plant and gently soak the soil that way. Avoid splashing the leaves. I believe the homemade remedy for mildew is baking soda and milk, not oil. Full cream milk at that. I haven't tried it myself.

I had in mind the apple cucumbers, but as you say the bigger varieties do have proportionately bigger leaves.
A good thing about growing zucchinis is that you don't need the bees. If you pick the fruit when the flower is fully open then you can eat both fruit and flower (fry the flower in batter). Otherwise, pick the fruit as soon as the flower is spent.
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John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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"John Savage" wrote:

Don't have a mildew problem on the cuke leaves. Had the black spot on some roses. I think I read to use a little corn oil to make the baking soda stick... but I had problems getting a squirt bottle to work using baking soda and oil so I gave up on that. Ended up cutting all the rose bush leaves off, and tried some fertilizer and after a couple weeks nothing seemed to happened so I went to Home Depot and noticed that the stuff there for roses seemed to indicate potassium so I chopped up some banana peels in a blender and put that into the dirt around the roots of the rose and watered them. A month later there were not only leaves, but roses as well and for the next two months we had some nice roses.
I think the Yamato cucumber seeds I have are sterile. I didn't see any female flowers blossom. Something just isn't right for them. Coffee grounds kill them. :-) I'm going to plant some more seeds and try the banana peel thing on them and see what happens. I'll try them in a sunnier location. The soil here drains super quick. So maybe I'll mix some sphagnum peet in there as well.
There aren't too many bees around. There are alot of lady bug type bugs and wasps though. I see wasps everywhere and have seen some nests in different places. There's a ton of lizards everywhere as well. I was feeding the lizards some cabbage worms over the summer. It's amazing to watch the little lizards. They look like the lizards in Jurassic Park and I get the feeling that those that created the move- ments of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park took it straight from the little garden lizards that run all over Florida.
I've got some corn stalks left over that I'm going to take down. The corn stalks I'm noticing are soapy sometimes, they seem to be basic (opposite of acidic). Does anyone know if corn stalks are basic and can be used to raise the PH? :-) I'm speaking from high school chemistry and knowledge that soap and oil are basic (alkaline). Is that correct?
I'm reading that potassium is alkaline. I'm not sure on just how alkaline it is though and if that makes banana peels alkaline. I would think so but if someone can comment on that, and guide me in some way, that would be great!
Thanks for the clarifications, John.
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Jim Carlock
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Some plants can buffer the soil, but ther none that I am aware of that will raise the pH and that includes corn stalks. On the other hand the decomposition of some plant matter like oaks leaves and pine straw releases weak organic acids but the results are somewhat transitory. Peat is usually acidic for that reason.
Soap is basic, but here we are talking old fashion soap (sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids) like Granny's lye soap. Most soaps (detergents ) commercially available are neutral.
Potassium is a metal. Plant uptake must be in ionic form usually a salt. Commercial fertilizers will use eaith potassium oxide (basic) or potassium chloride (neutral).
The safest way to raise pH to neutral fror vegetables is ground limestone. Slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) is faster but you hav e less control.
Sheep manure is the best amendment I have ever used on cucurbits, but composted cow manure will work and it is a lot easier to find.
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The first cucumber plant I grew was a couple of Yamato types. They never fruited. They flowered quite a bit.
The second cucumber plants I tried out, were put in a shadier area and I did get one cucumber off it.
However, it is having a second fruity due going on and I now have two cukes on it. Not far away is another cuke seed I planted at a later hiscadoo date. It also initiated with one fruit. I'm hoping that it'll take off bare some more fruits.
I've been chopping up a bunch of leaves and breaking up a bunch of small dead branches and feeding the sand (and cucumbers) and that seems to be helping.
I saw my first snail out here sucking on some dead leaves (possibly corn stalks I chopped up). I seen plenty of ladybugs scooting around and wasps flying about. There aren't too many bees though. Everything seems to be getting ready for the winter. Throughout September there were quite a few ladybugs. I caught a few doing the mating dance every so often. They are only slightly bashful about it. Wish my camera could do some good closeup shots of small bugs.
Thanks for the help with the potassium and such. I wonder how many times the cukes will blossom and bare fruit?
I've read that mulching up bananas does a good job of putting potassium and nitrogen into the soil. And from what I see by the fact that banana peels turn black (oxidize). I image it puts some oxygen and carbon into the soil as well. Anyone ever studied the oxidation of banana peels?
The following link indicates that tea leaves are best when non-oxidized (ie, green leaves/green tea vs. black leaves/ black tea). They mention oxidation of a banana peel in a comparison to oxidation of tea leaves.
http://www.teasofgreen.com/oxidation.asp
I'm reading that a banana peel inside a jar surrounded by petroleum jelly is used to catch roaches. That a banana peel can be taped over a wart to get rid of a wart. Somewhere a few days ago, I read that banana peels are great for roses, and I can personally confirm that.
And while I can't be too sure about the banana peel and the cucumbers because I didn't isolate the incident from other things... I stuck a bunch of other dead decomposing leaves on top of the soil where the cuke is planted, as well as a bunch of sphagnum peat. The peat didn't seem to upset anything too much (create an intolerable acidity). Coffee grounds though, seem to upset the balance of cucumbers. The coffee grounds probably need to be mixed with other things for a beneficial result (coffee grounds are acidic?).
There seem to be a thousand and one uses for banana peels... Charlie Chaplin thought so in describing a comical use for a banana peel:
Show a goofy man walking. Show a banana peel. Present them both together displaying the man stepping over the peel. Then have the man fall into an open manhole cover on the other side of the peel.
-- Jim Carlock Post replies to the newsgroup.
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wrote:

Stuff. There are about 10,000 recipes on the web.
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