Our new greenhouse, the Veggie House is open! In it you can find all of our veggie starters and herbs!*
Zucchini is the latest addition to our Veggie Bootcamp. This is a veggie that's known as an easy, speedy grower by gardeners. It loves compost rich, well drained soil in full sun, so make sure to choose an appropriate spot in your garden for it.
When choosing your starters at the Rulfs Veggie House, think about picking up some of our Garden Mix, too, as zucchini are heavy feeders and you'll want to prepare the soil with organic matter such as compost etc, before planting.
Don't rush to plant! These veggies cannot tolerate cold temps and frost; they may actually become "injured" by temperatures that are too chilly. Be patient and plant when all threats of this have passed.
When planting, cluster your starters into "hills" to encourage pollination. Grouping 2-3 plants together increases the chance of their flowers being open at the same time, and being pollinated multiple times. If this doesn't happen, you won't have viable fruit to harvest. Zucchini will tend to produce male flowers first, then female flowers as the plant continues to mature. Be patient if you see flowers but no fruit afterwards - they are coming!
When it comes time to harvest zucchini, remember to pick them young and pick often. Each plant will likely produce several fruit a day during peak season! Pick them young and tender for the best flavor, when they reach around 4 inches in length. Waiting too long to harvest will result in zucchini that are bitter and seedy.
Take pruners, scissors or a sharp knife and cut the stem about 1-2 inches from the fruit. Alternatively, try twisting the plant until it breaks off of the vine.
Store in the refrigerator, keeping it whole and unwashed. Put it in a plastic or paper bag, with one end kept open to encourage air flow. Kept like this, the zucchini will last 1-2 weeks. The skin will start to shrivel over time, so make sure to have a plan for what you want to do with it!
If you have a good haul and need a more long-term storing solution, try blanching them and keeping them in the freezer. They will last about 3 months this way.
What dishes do you make with your zucchini? Tell us on our Facebook!
*We ask that all visitors please follow social distancing guidelines of leaving 6 feet between you and others, and wearing masks to reduce the risk to yours and other households. Thank you in advance!
If you would rather order your veggies and herbs online, we will soon be offering them through our webstore on 48 hour pick-up.