Archive for the 'Zucchini' Category

Vegetable Assortment

Last March around the first of spring, I planted blue lake pole bean seeds and light and dark green zucchini seeds directly into one of our raised beds. I stared harvesting green beans and zucchinis in late May, and they have been producing prolificly since then. This year is the earliest harvest I’ve ever had for beans and zucchini. In the past, my green beans and zucchini didn’t mature until mid-June, and I have always planted them at the same time around the first day of spring. This year’s warmer weather was likely the cause.

Below is a photo of one of my raised beds that has pole beans growing on a wire support in the back, tomatoes in the middle in square cages, zucchini up front, and strawberries growing around the edge. This is the same bed shown in my Apr. 20 post. The plants are close together, which helps to prevent weed growth.

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This is a close up photo of one group of my zucchinis:

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My corn plants are also precocious this year. I planted corn by seed on Apr. 8 directly into another raised bed. The corn seeds took 2 weeks to sprout, but it has been growing rapidly since then. They already are pushing out the tassels.

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I am experimenting with growing some new edible plants this year. Peanuts are one of the new plants I am growing this year. Peanuts are supposed to thrive in warm summers. I’m not sure it will be warm enough for them here, but I think that it will be fun to try at least once. I purchased peanut seeds through an online mail order website. I planted the peanut seeds in late April. The seedlings look like little pea plants. They are already generating small yellow sweet pea-like flowers. The photo below shows what they looked like earlier today.

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I am also growing spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and sugar pie pumpkins this year for the first time. I planted all of these by seed. I planted the spaghetti squash and pumpkin seeds in late March outdoors in small pots and then transplanted them into the ground after they had sprouted. I decided not to plant them in our raised beds, because their vines grow so long that they would grow out of the beds and along the paths around the beds, which would force me to constantly step over the vines.

Our natural soil here is clay. Our neighbors grew pumpkins successfully in their clay soil last year, which inspired me to try them this year. The spaghetti squash and pumpkin vines are already several feet long and growing rapidly. The photo below shows two spaghetti squash vines with two spaghetti squash on them.

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I am growing sugar pie pumpkins rather than jack-o-lantern pumpkins. I want to use pumpkins in cooking, and sugar pie pumpkins are bred for this purpose. Pumpkins are supposed to thrive in climates with relatively mild and dry summers, so they should grow reasonably well here. This is a photo of one of my pumpkin vines with a pumpkin on it:

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June 15 2013 | Beans and Corn and Peanuts and Pumpkin and Squash and Zucchini | 1 Comment »

Zucchinis Taking Over

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One of the things that I enjoy most about gardening is watching plants grow and produce. Fruits and vegetables that are annuals grows especially fast. For example, the green zucchini I planted back in mid-March as a 3 inch tall transplant has now grown so large, it is taking over one of the raised beds in our vegetable garden (see middle of top picture). It is crowding the onions and cantaloupe I planted nearby. I have trimmed off some of its leaves to stop it from shading nearby plants.

Apparently, I put too many plants in this 6′ x 7′ raised bed. But with only two small raised beds for growing vegetables, it’s hard to sacrifice some of the plants that I want to grow. A single cluster of only two green zucchini plants needs a lot of space. They are producing so many zucchinis I am giving some away.

The yellow zucchini that I planted in mid-April is a much more manageable size so far (see bottom picture and far left of top picture). It is producing less than half as many zucchinis as the green one. I have decided that two clusters of zucchini plants produces too many zucchinis for two people to eat, unless you want to have zucchini for dinner nearly everyday. I am more inclined to make a vegetable stir fry with zucchini once or twice a week. Next year, I am going to plant only one cluster of yellow zucchini because of its more compact size, and I will not plant any green zucchini.

June 14 2009 | Zucchini | 2 Comments »