Zucchini is one of the easier vegetables to grow, making it very rewarding. If you can take keep the squash bugs away, you can get a lot of zucchini from just a couple plants!
You want to make sure you get heirloom seeds. We like the Black Beauty variety. We start zucchini in the spring, and then again in the fall. First you will want to make a hill about 6” tall and 1” wide. Then, put two seeds into each hole, 2” apart and push down a half inch. Cover with manure or compost, and water well.
When your plants look like the above photo, it will be time to feed them again. Put 3 TBSP of kelp around the base of each plant, then add some more compost or manure. Continue to water as needed.
If, as your plants grow and start to bloom, you see only male and no female blooms, you won’t get many zucchini without doing something about this.You need males to pollinate the females. The female plants are the ones that will turn into a zucchini. If you do not know the difference in male and female blooms, use the photo below as a guide.
If we have this problem, here is what we do to help.
De-solve 2 TBSP of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and pour it around the base of the plant. Do this for each plant that you are having the problem with.
You can harvest your zucchini whatever size you like them. To harvest, all you have to do is grab the fruit and twist. If you like them small, make sure you keep an eye on them. They get big very quickly! The bigger they get, the more spongy they will be, and are less tasty when they are spongy.
If you are wanting to save seed from them, let one get as big as it will. Sometimes they will turn an orange-ish color once they are big. This does not mean you can’t save seed from them. They are still good for seed.
When you harvest, remember to pray who to give your first fruits to!
Honour Yehovah with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
When you pick the one you have let grow and go to seed, pick it and cut it open. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and lay the seeds out to dry on a tray for 2-3 days. Then, store in a jar with an airtight lid.
The best way to preserve your zucchini is to either freeze or can it.
To freeze the zucchini, first you need to shred it. We have not had good success with freezing slices. When you have finished shredding the zucchini, squeeze out the juice/water. Put in a Ziploc bag and freeze.
To can, we use the following recipe:
Want a way to use your shredded zucchini? We enjoy making Zucchini bread, too! You can even use the above recipe for Pineapple Zucchini in place of the regular shredded zucchini the recipe calls for. We love using the recipes from America’s Test Kitchen, and this is one of them.