'Winter Zucchini' ?

queenofthemountain - SoCal 9bAugust 12, 2009

Hi I am new here. I am on my second summer garden and starting to prepare my first cool season garden.

I have seen a few references online to "winter zucchini" - is there such a thing? I Googled and could not find any details. We love zucchini at my house, so if there is a type that will grow through the winter (or what passes for winter in LA) I would love to know about it.

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I'm not sure, I just know that for a long time, the phrase "winter squash" really threw me off. I thought it was squash for winter growing, but is instead hard-shelled squash that can be stored through the winter without spoiling. In fact, the so-called winter squash need heat even more that the summer squash do.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 3:15PM
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Hi, queenofthemountain. Are you on a mountain? I have seen gardening blogs where people in frost-free areas in Southern California near the coast can grow zucchini in winter (where you only need a sweater in January) and it has a much smaller output than when they grow it in winter and it goes nuts. I'm pretty sure it's about location, not a certain kind, because all zucchini is frost tender. I haven't tried zucchini in my greenhouse, although I do have some 3 year old tomatoes in it, so there are tender things that can overwinter.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 11:04PM
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I'm in the valley & have had good luck overwintering bell peppers & tomatoes but I had to cover them every night with an old sheet but it was worth it. Zucchini starts dying off this time of yr. but I'm not good at raising it anyhow.I'm getting a new moisture reader tomorrow as we can't use sprinklers but mon & thurs. so I'm either overwatering by hand or underwatering, (maybe just getting old & forgetful! LOL I notice some people put 4 stakes in ground & then have plant in center in winter with plastic "skirting the 4 stakes" so just the top is open. I've had to wrap my orange tree on side away from the house as the oranges freeze & are whitish & awful if I don't. I get 2-3 king sized flat sheets fold in half & use safety pins to pin the edges over a limb, I join each sheet so it forms a continuous shelter around about half the tree. That way I save a good deal of them as the oranges are huge & make wonderful fresh juice. sometimes they are mostly Valencia but some yrs some have a "navel," depends on where the bees have been. Froze at least 10-15 times this past winter. Temps are getting lower than it used to, many yrs it didn't even freeze. Been here since '66!Good Luck with your gardening!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 1:53AM
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queenofthemountain - SoCal 9b

"Hi, queenofthemountain. Are you on a mountain?"

I'm in the foothills area of the San Gabriel mountains. Our house is up on a small hill and we have a spectacular view of the mountains, which is where the name started.

I checked some weather stats for my neighborhood, and the lowest recorded temperature in 2008 was 34 degrees. I started a new zucchini a week ago and will start another in a few weeks, just to see what happens.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 3:20AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

A friend of mine grew Zucchini commercially for the Del Monte canning company. Del Monte opened up their old cannery on cannery row in Monterey where they used to do sardines. They had a new Zucchini that could be canned without being bitter. My friend rented land all over Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, even opened his own labor camp during the bracero era. Before he rented land he studied weather records and even with records of fifty years without a freeze he still got caught occasionally with an early frost. Zucchini is easier to frost than you would think. Al

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 10:07AM
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You can try chayote. It's a perennial type of squash that puts out fruits in winter. Not exactly like a zucchini, but can be used in very similar ways.

You need to grow it from the fruits because the seed sprouts while still inside. Just buy a few chayotes (try Hispanic and Asian markets) and put them aside where they get indirect light. They will put out a vine like sprout in a few weeks. When the sprout is about a foot long bury the whole fruit.

The vines can get huge and will climb.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chayote

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 7:40PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Zucchini summer squash can last well into December in favorable locations but tend to suffer from powdery mildewing of leaves, lack of pollination, and limited flowering during short days. I always try to have a few plants in the ground by mid to late August to produce from mid-Oct. to a least Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:04AM
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elc11(sunset z24 SD CA)

queenofthemountain, how did your zucchini do last fall?

I'm in San Diego about a mile from the coast. I have successfully grown zucchini into January/February the past few years...its regular zucchini planted a little late in the summer (~ July) that just keeps producing. It actually does best in the fall when its not quite so hot, and the squash often get large fast--ideal for stuffing. It is unusual for it to frost or freeze at my location, that is the kiss of death for the zucchini plants.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 8:48PM
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I yanked the zucchinis out last month, they were just mildewed and horrible, overgrown. Stuck in a couple zucchini seeds to see if I can get a harvest before it cools off. It has been in the 90's to 100 and the seeds sprouted fast. We'll see.

If any of the above posters are still around (queenofthemountain?), I'd be interested to hear your results.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:17PM
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