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.
One year 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 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, then bought some potassium bicarbonate to spray the leaves. It helped some, but 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.
Fall 2020 I planted one of each, green Cash Machine and yellow Golden Star. At this time (12/13/20) they are both doing very well and we are eating PLENTY of fresh zucchini. These are both considered PM or disease resistant, and neither are plagued with powdery mildew.
GRILLED ZUCCHINI WITH PEPPERS & ONIONS No recipe, I just marinate these with a bit of Italian dressing and grill them in a holey veggie grill pan.
CHOCOLATE-COCONUT-CHOCOLATE CHIP-ZUCCHINI BREAD For loaves I reduce the baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon. I also really like this in a 9×13 pan–they’re more like brownies! For the brownies I use zero baking soda at this altitude.
FRENCH ONION ZUCCHINI BAKE If you like onions & zucchini you’ll like this. No changes for altitude. I sprinkled some canned French fried onions on top for a special treat.
ZUCCHINI VARIETIES GROWN
Cash Machine F1| 45 Days | A more compact plant (perfect for my raised beds) with an abundant harvest! This is my new favorite. DTH: 35 days from transplant outdoors to harvest. This continued to provide zucchini until the plant froze 9/9.
Golden Star F1 | 55 Days | DTH: 37 days from transplant outdoors to harvest. Nice, firm yellow zucchini. This continued to provide zucchini until the plant froze 9/9.
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.