Finally, Some Legitimacy

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!


11 thoughts on “Finally, Some Legitimacy

  1. Don’t know it this applies, but…
    My greatest gardening nemesis…the squash vine borer. Every year we plant summer squash and every year they grow, grow and just when we are seeing the first small fruits…wither, wilt, yellow, die. They are being eaten alive from the inside. Open the stems and look for the big maggots eating their way along the stems. We never had these at our previous home and grew wonderful squash and zucchini. But here, I think we are doomed. We’ve tried “natural” cures and row covers. So far I have harvested 2 zucchini. We’ll see what the rest of the season holds.

    1. Yes, this sounds like what I have been having the past 2 years. I might not have the squash borer but might have a disease in the soil. Either one, my zucchini don’t make it anymore. I’m an organic gardener so I won’t use herbicides.

      1. Haha, don’t worry about it. I was out all day anyway. It sounds like there will be plenty of them, so we’ll take one next time you stop by to water… 🙂

  2. Zucchini Relish! It is EASY and it is a pickle relish; good on all things that relish is good on. It will us up lots of Zucchini. I have two recipes and I can make you copies or type them out letter by letter. Phillip

  3. Had to laugh because Husband (Who’s the gardener at our house, I’m the assistant gardener only. Which equals the weeder!) uttered approximately the same comment about zucchini…”the crop that fellow gardeners complain about producing too much.” What’s the deal??? He moved the zuccs to a different spot in the yard this year so we’ll see….. Happy gardening!

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