OUTSIDE & IN THE GREENHOUSE
Zucchini grows great here! I’ve been growing zucchini both outdoors in the summer and in the greenhouse year-round since the garden began. Although one plant would normally be enough just for the two of us, I always like to cook a combination of yellow and green zucchini together. I especially like those grilled with red & orange sweet peppers and onions, but that’s another story for the recipe file.
Outdoors I typically plant one each, green & yellow in one bed along with some spinach, lettuce or onions at the ends of the beds. The lettuce & spinach are harvested early, so by the time the zucchini plants get big the lettuces & spinach are gone. The onions don’t take much space at the ends or in the center. I’m beginning to look for zucchini varieties that indicate “compact” plants, which helps in the raised beds both outside & in.
Both outside and inside I pollinate the zucchini by hand. We just don’t get enough bees or other bugs here to do that for me. I keep some duck feathers handy by the plants, swab the males then the female flowers with them when those flowers are wide open. The biggest problem I’ve had with zucchini is that frequently I have either all males or all females, and can’t pollinate. I’ve tried to find information about how to keep both sexes growing, but I just can’t find anything. Some sources indicate that often the plants will produce lots of males first, prior to the females, but in my experience I’ve often had lots of females and not enough males. Go figure.
In the greenhouse, I typically plant just one zucchini at a time, since they do take up space, most often a yellow variety. Zucchini is always planted someplace where I can string it up to the beam or ceiling, to grow the zucchini vertically.
During the Fall/Winter of 2019/2020 I experienced quite a bit of powdery mildew (PM) on the Golden Zucchini plant in the greenhouse. For awhile I occasionally sprayed it with neem oil. I thought I had read that neem would help with PM, but it did not do much, if anything. I continually pruned off the worse leaves, and at times I thought I was getting ahead. After it came back, I did some more research and bought some potassium bicarbonate, which I did read should help. I think I just didn’t attack the PM early enough. It eventually came back with a vengeance and I decided, “Enough!” I ripped out the plant and started over with a new hybrid variety that is supposed to be PM resistant. If I do see PM on this plant I will get out the potassium bicarbonate much sooner and try to keep it in check.
ZUCCHINI VARIETIES GROWN
Costata | 60 Days | Did quite well outdoors.
Golden Zucchini | 53 Days | Did very well both outdoors and in the greenhouse.
Nero di Milano | 45 Days | Did not do as well as the Costata.
Cocozelle | 53 Days | Not as abundant as the Costata, but did okay outdoors.
Cash Machine F1 | 45 Days | Started for Greenhouse February 2020
Golden Star F1 | 55 Days | Planned for 2020