The adults emerge from their winter hideout in the soil sometime in late June to early July, and one of their first tasks is to lay their eggs at the base of squash plants.Unlike most moths, though, these fly during daylight hours and lay eggs at the base of susceptible plants.If there are no zucchini plants in your garden, there is no reason for the vine borer moth to stop by and lay her eggs. .

How Long Will a Zucchini Plant Produce?

Zucchini have both male and female flowers on the same plant and rely on bees for pollination. .

Zucchini Harvest Season

Rub the pistils in the center of an open female flower, which has a swollen ovary at its base. .

How to Plant and Grow Zucchini Squash

But if you meet its soil fertility, sun, and water demands, it will usually reward you with an abundance of produce in a short time, with little effort from you.You may get a little stressed from having to continuously eat delicious fresh, steamed, or fried zucchini, or share the bounty at the peak of the season.Whether you’re a home pickling fan like me, adore sautes and zoodles (or “courgetti,” across the Pond), or are just enthusiastic about a plant that’s easygoing, zucchini is an easy choice.Like its summer squash relatives, zucchini is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes gourds, cucumbers, and pumpkins.It’s fine if you want to let a few of them get big, but concentrate on producing the smaller, tender squashes that are creamy and sublime in stir fries and summer soups, or breaded and pan-fried.While they may taper a bit, like the ‘Grey Zucchini,’ they don’t have a neck, or any sort of handle, unlike crookneck squash.There are currently eight different horticultural groups of summer squash: cocozelle, crookneck, scallop, straightneck, vegetable marrow, and zucchini.According to research published in the July 2016 issue of Annals of Botany, they are the newest cultivar member of the C. pepo species.Today, this summer squash is grown in many temperate climates and has inspired cuisine in countries including Turkey, Japan, India, and the US.You can use straw, paper, or even plastic mulch to help the plants retain that all-important moisture, and to discourage weeds that will compete for water and nutrition.Plants require 1-2 inches of water per week, and thrive in soil that is kept consistently moist but not waterlogged.If you’re planning to go on vacation for a week or two in the summer, make sure to time your planting to accommodate the days you’ll be gone.Don’t plant a variety that will mature during your vacation, or you won’t be around to pick the produce when it reaches the right size.‘Bossa Nova’ This hybrid cultivar has creamy flesh and small seeds, and is best picked when fruits are 4 or 5 inches long.You can learn all about how to prevent and treat zucchini diseases, including blossom end rot, mold, and powdery mildew in this guide.They’ll be quick to produce in warmer climes, and well established by the time such pests as vine borers make their appearance if you get an early start.At that age, they’re creamy, the seeds are so small you won’t notice them, and all your foodie friends will want some for sauteing and spiralizing.While you can use this too-mature produce in muffins or pancake batter, the fresher, smaller summer squash are just as good for this purpose, and they won’t release as much water, either.To cut from the vine, whether it’s overgrown or just perfect, use a sharp paring knife from the kitchen, or clean pruners.To keep them stay fresh and firm longer, leave an inch of the stem attached when you lop the squash off the vine.The harvested fruit can usually sit on the counter in a cool, dry place without harm for a couple of days.When they’re frozen hard, stack the mounds in a jar or freezer container, separated by the paper sheets.To use frozen squash in a quick bread, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, and let it drain in a colander before adding it to the batter.Then add either bottled or homemade Italian vinaigrette (from a recipe or a store-bought product that includes olive or vegetable oil).Stir to coat the vegetables, and then portion out the mixture into freezer bags in whatever quantity you’re most likely to use when you make a meal.Later in the year, you can thaw the vegetables overnight in the refrigerator and then grill or roast them, with or without additional marinades or oils.You may be surprised at how great it tastes, just chopped and steamed with some fresh herbs, and a wee bit of butter to make them even more succulent.For your first days of eating the fruits of your (not particularly extensive) labor, I’d stick with simple sautes, perhaps with a touch of sesame oil or a splash of your favorite stir-fry sauce.

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How to Grow Golden Zucchini

I consider it the perfect starter vegetable for the newbie who wants a great return with minimal effort, and the ideal upgrade for a veteran green thumb looking to fill the freezer with tasty produce.When this veggie garden overachiever is an attractive butter yellow color, as is the case with golden zucchini, that’s just one more benefit (or as we say in the South, “one more jewel in the crown”).And while I have found it true that the golden or yellow cultivars tend to produce a little less enthusiastically than those abundant green classics like ‘Black Beauty,’ that’s not necessarily all bad.Known as either “golden” or “yellow” zucchini, these cultivars produce fruits that are super nutritious, chock-full of vitamin A, potassium, and two grams of dietary fiber per 27-calorie one-cup serving.This leaves a section of flesh that’s far more difficult to spiralize, whether you’re using a simple peeler or planer, or have a separate gadget for making zoodles.I’ll talk more about some novel yellow varieties here in a bit, but first I want to share three reasons why growing golden zucchini could be a great idea.They’re also light enough in color that they look natural with a tomato sauce, with an advantage over the other types of yellow squash with those narrow necks that are so hard to make into veggie noodles.This is particularly helpful if you’re trying to draw attention away from the noodles beneath that sauce, say, for a child who needs more veggies than she’ll eat willingly.I don’t mean they’re naturally sugary like pie pumpkins or butternuts, but they definitely lend a little sweetness to stir fries and soups.Ignore your plants for one or two extra days and suddenly you’ve got baseball bats in place of succulent noodle bowl ingredients.Golden zucchini give you an advantage in that scenario because the leaves won’t obscure the fruit as easily.When you can readily spot them even without crouching, you’ll increase your odds of harvesting while the produce is still at a tasty size.They require ample air circulation to promote growth and prevent various ailments, including powdery mildew and stem rot.Ideally, you’ll also choose a spot with room for some companion plants that attract pollinators, which zucchini need to produce fruit, and lots of it.Once you’ve settled on a spot and amended the soil for these heavy feeders, directly sow a few seeds one inch deep in hills spaced six feet apart.Make sure to check out our guide to planting and growing zucchini for advice on preventing common issues and pests like powdery mildew and vine borers.Our sister site, Foodal, has tasty recipes too, including lots of suggestions for spiralized vegetables. .

How to pick a ripe zucchini

Besides being delicious and useful in all kinds of excellent recipes, zucchini has no fat, contains lots of water and fiber, and provides minerals that include potassium and manganese, as well as significant amounts of vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate, C and K. It’s also a source of disease-fighting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.Small, early squash are thought to be the most tender and full of flavor, and if you’re diligent about picking them frequently, you can achieve a larger crop.If you don’t check your plants every day during harvest time – making sure to look under the large leaves for hiding fruit – the zucchinis can become enormous.While some people claim that zucchinis up to a foot in length can be eaten, the average size range for harvesting is six to eight inches.

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How to Grow Zucchini (Guide)

As long as you have the space to grow these large plants that tend to sprawl, you can have enough zucchini to keep you, your friends and your neighbors well stocked for months.Additionally, the fragile roots of most vegetable plants have a hard time pushing through clay soil and, due to the poor drainage, clay soil can rot roots and bulbs during the rainy season or if you over-water.If you build garden beds that are at least 12 inches deep, you can skip the hard labor and simply add well-draining soil on top of the clay.In Southern California, it is generally best to plant your zucchini in April, May, June or July.You can reduce your risk of squash vine borers destroying your plants by holding off on sowing your seeds until July.They do not need to be started indoors in seed pots and will germinate quickly when directly sown in your garden.Seedlings will be a little more expensive to purchase at your local nursery, but they give you a head start and are easier for some gardeners.Alternatively, you can hill them by planting two to four seeds together on a short mound, which increases the chances of pollination.If you do not have this much space available, you can cage your zucchini plants to provide support for vertical growth.Adding a layer of mulch around your plants can help the soil retain moisture between watering.Add a thick layer of mulch around your plants to retain soil moisture and inhibit weed growth.It may be tempting to grow the biggest zucchini on the block, but it is best to harvest this squash when it reaches six to eight inches in length.Be sure to gently peek under your plants’ large leaves to hunt for the zucchinis that are probably hiding under them.You can purchase a product with potassium bicarbonate at your local nursery or you can make your own anti-mildew spray by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of liquid dish soap with about one quart of water in a spray bottle. .

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