ZUCCHINI: smooth cylindrical usually dark green summer squash
I claim to be a gardener. But, I have a dirty secret: I can’t grow zucchini. It’s not for lack of trying. I plant summer squash in our garden every year. And it fails. Every. Year.
If it was a finicky crop, I wouldn’t feel so bad. But it’s not. It’s zucchini – the crop that fellow gardeners complain about producing too much. In the past, I have endured those salt-in-the-wounds complaints with a silent smile hoping those gardening wizards would think I was part of their club and suffering the same zucchini oppression.
But, the sad reality was that every year my summer squash plants shriveled. One year, a zucchini started to grow at the base of a blossom only to rot. Five years of trying and only one rotten zucchini stub to show for my efforts. I was starting to fear that I would have to stop referring to myself as a gardener.
When it came time for planting this year, I decided to give up on zucchini. I was convinced that our yard simply didn’t have enough sun to successfully grow summer squash. I can grow lettuce and collard greens all summer, but we don’t get enough sun for tomatoes and other sun lovers. But then, a generous friend offered up a lovely full-sun raised bed on her property. I jumped at the chance to garden there. The sunny spot opened up a world of planting possibilities – tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeno peppers and zucchini. I have been astounded at the difference and extra five hours of sun a day makes. It’s miraculous!
Imagine my delight yesterday when I discovered three zucchini waiting for me when I went to water! I was so incredibly happy. Irrationally happy. I wanted to dance on the sidewalk. Give three cheers for summer squash. Dance a jig. But, then…I began to panic.
You see, given my previous track record I decided to put twelve squash plants in her garden in hopes of finally having at least one home-grown zucchini. Twelve plants. Yikes! Two of the plants have already started producing and the rest are on their way.
Looks like I may have my own tale of zucchini woe this summer.
It’s official. I’m a legitimate gardener!