Zucchini & summer squash produce for how long?

gsevensJuly 30, 2009

I've been picking zucchini and summer squash for a month now. I can't believe the amount 6 plants produces. I've been eating tons of this stuff. I even made zucchini bread. I've been giving a lot of it to friends and family too.

Do zucchini and summer squash continue to produce as long as I continue to harvest, or will they finally quit one day just because they can't go any more? The plants already grew bigger than I ever expected. I've lost a couple of the isles in my garden already, but that's ok. I'll just have to plan better next year.

Thanks,

Paul

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ctlady_gw(z6 CT)

How long? Til you wish you'd never planted them!! Start looking for recipes for the freezer :) (And just a note: small children consider it grossly "unfair" to haul out stuffed zucchini from the freezer in the dead of winter... just when they thought they were DONE with the stuff!)

(There are some great zucchini soups out there -- make the base and freeze them.)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:21PM
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defrost49

wow, southern NH is ahead of Concord NH area. I hit our local book club last night with some of my extras. I just started picking a week ago. The gardening guy was away on vacation and the other person with a garden said she didn't have any zukes yet. Last year by the end of August the plants got ahead of me producing huge zukes which I refused to waste. I made a list of things out of ONE zucchini. Zucchini bran muffins and zucchini whoopie pies were the biggest hits but zucchini pancakes (sweet, like zucchini bread) were also well received. I shredded zukes, squeezed extra water out then froze in 2 C batches which is what many baking recipes call for. I thought I had lost 3 plants that I had started inside so I planted 3 hills each of two other varieties. I've already told my DIL to get her friend's relish recipe and will help her make some relish.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 7:59AM
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ctlady_gw(z6 CT)

Just saw this today...food for thought (so to speak).

Not sure about those Zucchini Lime Tequila Slushies, though ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Gourmet Mag'z test kitchen zucchini challenge!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:00AM
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gsevens

"How long? Til you wish you'd never planted them!!" - So the other 2 zucchini plants I started I probably could have done without.

I think I'm gonna start freezing some of it, so I can pull it out later when the season is over.

Those zucchini whoopie pies look pretty good. I should make my maple and brown sugar zucchini bread into whoopie pies.

Thanks for the info and the recipe ideas,
Paul

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 2:29PM
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jamesjr_54(6)

You've no doubt heard of the New Englander who returned home after a cook-out to find that someone broke into her house and left 3 zucchinis?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 2:56PM
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houstworks

Food shelters will gladly take your donations.

Our school also takes food from gardens that grow too much
of one thing !
Although school hasn't started yet.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 10:44AM
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blaketaylore

Hello Defrost

Could you please share your zuccini whoopie pie recipie

Blake

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 6:58PM
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gsevens

I didn't even think of that. I could bring some to the local food pantry.

I think next year I may only need 2 squash plants. I didn't eat zucchini or squash before I grew it this year. I am already squashed out. They have grown way bigger than I thought they would. I have lost a few isles too. I get excited when I go to the garden and there is no squash to pick. Pretty sad, huh?

Paul

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:31PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

One hint - pick them small when possible. They are more tender than when larger, and you have less volume of zuke to use up. You can also pick & eat the blossoms - just Google for recipes. Like Defrost, I also shred zukes to use in stews and baked goods in the winter. You can make eggplant Parmesagne with zukes instead of eggplant. I have eaten them raw with dip. Besides giving them away to local food pantries, you can check with day cares or camps to see if they want any or even just put some out by the road during afternoon commute time with a FREE sign.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 7:12PM
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defrost49

Here's the recipe:
Zucchini Whoopie Pies
1 C shredded zucchini
1 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ C shortening
1 egg
2 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
½ C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 C nuts (optional)

Mix zucchini, sugar, shortening and egg. Add dry ingredients. Mix, alternating with milk. Combine and stir in vanilla and nuts. Drop by teaspoons on greased pan. Bake at 350 deg for 7-10 minutes.

Filling:

4 oz cream cheese
3 T softened margarine
½ lb confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Cool whoopie pies. Spread filling on a whoopie pie than top with a second pie, like a sandwich.

Some food pantries won't take perishable food. I have found 3 people who don't have gardens who would like my excess zucchini, including a giant one for baking goodies. Keep asking. Not everyone's plants are doing well this year.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 8:17AM
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mmqchdygg(Z5NH)

I planted "Early Prolific Straightneck" this year, and have been picking for a month now. If I don't get out there every night, they are the size of baseball bats when I find them. Like you, the neighborhood has been getting my overstock. I have a neighbor who got laid off, and although my donations are "odd," I am sure they are appreciated.

Thanks for the WP recipe; I'll have to try this one. Z-bread is very nice.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 9:31AM
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blaketaylore

Thanks, defrost, for the recipe. I think I will bake them this weekend.

mmqchdygg, I can remember feeling so frustrated becasue I was just all zuccinied out and just couldn't keep up with the harvesting. This year I planted six zuccini plants and they all died. I don't know why becasue everything else is doing well, but I miss my zuccinni and I miss that feeling of being all zuccinied out!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:21PM
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gsevens

I started out the season picking squash and zucchini when small, then got lazy. I am back to picking them small. Though, I do have smaller ones than before, I think I am getting more of them. Overall, I do have less, so I will continue. I'll just keep finding someone to take it.

Paul

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 10:04AM
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gsevens

I went out earlier today and picked 2 more summer squash. These just don't quit. I get frustrated at all the squash, but I laugh about it all the time because I didn't even eat the stuff until I grew it myself this year. Now it just won't stop. One of my squash plants is already like 6 feet long and it has branched off back near the main stem. I noticed 2-3 little female buds at the end of the plant and another 2-3 growing back where it split.

Is it normal for zucchini or summer squash plants to split off and grow them from two different places at once?

Paul

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 9:36PM
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defrost49

I didn't think zucchini or summer squash plants split off but I think they are capable of putting down more roots. Maybe that's what happened.
Blaketaylor, I'm sorry about your plants. Do you know what happened? My first 3 plants were started indoors but got touched by that late frost in May then stressed by the long cold spell. I always use fish emulsion when I transplant and use it if a plant looks like it's ailing. After mixing it up I pour the mix all over the foliage, not just around the base and roots. The plants looked so bad I decided to plant 6 more hills, 3 each of two different varieties. Eventually, the sick plants got healthy and all plants started producing at the same time.

Last weekend I shredded a large zucchini in my food processor then made a recipe. I put the rest of the shredded zucchini in the frig. It has kept nicely and doesn't take long to mix a batch of cookies or muffins in the morning while it's still cool. Borrowed my DIL's mandolin so I can try a refrigerator pickle recipe and a summer squash and potato gratin.

BTW my vegetable beds are a combination of lasagna gardenings and square foot. I am very happy with the lasagna method since it made it much easier to start a veggie bed on old sod. You don't have to remove any grass. I think the loose texture of the soil and the higher level of dirt compared to grassy paths has helped make my garden healthier than some neighbors during the awful cold, rainy spell we had. I know people who just gave up. We had areas of the yard with long standing puddles (also have a high water table). I thought I would have trouble this year because last fall we topped the two new beds with a thick layer of fresh from the barn steere manure. In spring it was hard and hadn't composted well. Since I planned winter squash in one and zucchini and tomato plants in the other, I decide to just dig a shallow hole, add some better compost so the seeds could get a start. Things have done well.
I did not use a lot of compost or lasagna method in the beds by our kitchen porch. I don't like the soil texture at all. It seems packed down. I plan to add grass clippings, etc this fall to improve the texture.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 7:53AM
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gsevens

I went out to try and take a picture of the squash plant that split off, but I couldn't get a good photo to show it. It came off the bottom of the main stem and just turned off to the side. It has 2 little squash growing right now. If I can'r get a good photo soon,when the plant dies or gets ripped out because it is taking over I will lay it out on the ground upside down to get a nice shot.

Paul

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 10:44PM
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Gaturz13

All I ever hear about is how much zucchini plants produce? I have a raised bed that tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers do fine in but both years I got about 5 zucchini's total from 3 plants!!! Any suggestions would be much appreciated as I am going to give it another shot this year! I live in southwest Ohio in case that matters. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:45AM
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singleton165(z5 NH Seacoast)

NHBabs, good hint to pick them when small.
Along with quite a few of you I remember being quite sick and tired of all the ways we ate zukes when I was a kid...and they were always huge! This will be my first year planting them, and although I don't thin out seedlings often, I promise to only let TWO of them survive. LOL

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:44PM
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defrost49

Gaturz13, it seems to me that it might be a pollination problem. Do you see lots of good insects buzzing around. When I check for cucumber beetles, I usually have to be careful of some buzzing little insects. Is it possible that a critter is eating the blossoms? When zuke flowers first come out, I think they are mostly male. The female blossoms are bigger. I would watch those female blossoms to make sure they don't disappear overnight thanks to some critter.
Someone at a gardeners meeting said their veggie garden has been more prolific since they started raising bees.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:48AM
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