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Eddie Willers rookie mistake #2. Zucchini

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Eddie Willers rookie mistake #2. Zucchini Empty Eddie Willers rookie mistake #2. Zucchini

Post  Eddie Willers on 6/18/2020, 3:06 pm

Reading through the forum I see all these experienced gardiners with their jokes about an abundance of Zucchini had me wondering just how much Zucchini a plant can produce.

Over the last two weeks I have been watching with delight as my zucchini plants grew quickly and started flowering beautifully. A few days ago I startted getting concerned that things in Zucchini ville were getting a little crowded, especially when I saw half a dozen or more little zucchinis per plant starting to grow. How are they all going to grow to full size in such a jammed up little space. These plants, now almost 18" tall, which I have been trying to lead up a trellis (might not even be the right kind of zucchini (SMH), are completely shading the beets I was trying to grow next door. More on the beets in a second.
So I went back to the manual, my SFG 3rd edition bible for some wisdom. And there I realuzed my fatal mistake. While Zucchini need 2 square feet per 1 plant, I had planeted two plants in a single square foot....

Ugh. So what now? I Imagine the roots all tangled together with no way of removing one without horribly upsetting the other.

Will the zucchini vegetables grow to full size with their parents locked in this mortal combat over resources? Do I add more compost and water to help?

The adjacent square is a square of beets which has really failed to thrive. Only 4 out 9 even germinated, and now they spend almost all day in the shade of the zucchini anyways.

One last point, I am readily convinced I have double (at least) the number of zucchini plants than Id need, but I do have lots of neighbors.

Thoughts?
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Post  OhioGardener on 6/18/2020, 5:00 pm

Last comment first:  August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor's Porch Day!  Sounds like you'll be ready!  Very Happy 

Most Zucchini are bush plants, not vining, though there are some varieties of each - the package of seeds should indicate which you have.  At any rate, Zucchini are very high producing plants, and the more you harvest the more it produces. I find it best to pick the squash when they are 6" to 8" long - if they get bigger than that they are not near as tender.

Yes, adding compost or mulch will help keep the plants healthy. Water when the finger test shows that the soil is dry a couple inches down.  One point that you might consider is pruning off some of the leaves to open up the plants to the sunshine. It will ensure healthy plants. I'll post a link to a video on this and the end of the post.  Meanwhile, enjoy your bountiful Zucchini's! Very Happy 


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Post  Emily49 on 6/18/2020, 7:54 pm

@Eddie Willers wrote:Reading through the forum I see all these experienced gardiners with their jokes about an abundance of Zucchini had me wondering just how much Zucchini a plant can produce.

Over the last two weeks I have been watching with delight as my zucchini plants grew quickly and started flowering beautifully. A few days ago I startted getting concerned that things in Zucchini ville were getting a little crowded, especially when I saw half a dozen or more little zucchinis per plant starting to grow. How are they all going to grow to full size in such a jammed up little space. These plants, now almost 18" tall, which I have been trying to lead up a trellis (might not even be the right kind of zucchini (SMH), are completely shading the beets I was trying to grow next door. More on the beets in a second.
So I went back to the manual, my SFG 3rd edition bible for some wisdom. And there I realuzed my fatal mistake. While Zucchini need 2 square feet per 1 plant, I had planeted two plants in a single square foot....

Ugh. So what now? I Imagine the roots all tangled together with no way of removing one without horribly upsetting the other.

Will the zucchini vegetables grow to full size with their parents locked in this mortal combat over resources? Do I add more compost and water to help?

The adjacent square is a square of beets which has really failed to thrive. Only 4 out 9 even germinated, and now they spend almost all day in the shade of the zucchini anyways.

One last point, I am readily convinced I have double (at least) the number of zucchini plants than Id need, but I do have lots of neighbors.

Thoughts?
If you really wanted to remove one without disturbing the other, you could cut it off with garden scissors at the ground, like you would if they were smaller and you were thinning.   I bought a pot that had 2 in it and I couldn't bring myself to kill one of them, so I put them in the garden giving them 4 squares.  I also gave a single plant 4 squares.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/18/2020, 9:51 pm

Sacrifice the beets unless you are married to them.  Or sacrifice one of the very prolific zucchini.  Your choice!  You only have so much real estate.

I made the same mistake this year with Dragon Tongue Beans; they are 9/SF.  I planted them at 16/SF...yay me?

Sacrificed some of the beans.  Spacing isn’t right, but it’s better!  

Take notes!!!!
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Post  sanderson on 6/18/2020, 11:47 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:. . . You only have so much real estate. . . . I made the same mistake this year with Dragon Tongue Beans; they are 9/SF.  I planted them at 16/SF...yay me?. . . Take notes!!!!
Very Happy

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Post  sanderson on 6/18/2020, 11:48 pm

@OhioGardener wrote: . . . August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor's Porch Day!  Sounds like you'll be ready!  Very Happy . . .
Razz

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Post  sanderson on 6/18/2020, 11:53 pm

@Eddie Willers wrote:Reading through the forum I see all these experienced gardeners with their jokes about an abundance of Zucchini had me wondering just how much Zucchini a plant can produce.

Over the last two weeks I have been watching with delight as my zucchini plants grew quickly and started flowering beautifully. A few days ago I started getting concerned that things in Zucchini-ville were getting a little crowded, especially when I saw half a dozen or more little zucchinis per plant starting to grow. . . So I went back to the manual, my SFG 3rd edition bible for some wisdom. And there I realized my fatal mistake. While Zucchini need 2 square feet per 1 plant, I had planted two plants in a single square foot. . .
For bush zucchini (Page 251), it is 1 plant per 9 sq ft. For "vining" zucchini, it is one seed in the middle of 2 squares with a trellis or stake. Wink

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Post  Emily49 on 6/21/2020, 7:27 pm

@sanderson wrote:

For bush zucchini (Page 251), it is 1 plant per 9 sq ft.  For "vining" zucchini, it is one seed in the middle of 2 squares with a trellis or stake.  Wink
I have one plant that was just tagged "Zucchini" and the other was tagged "Black Beauty" Which kind would that BB be?
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Post  OhioGardener on 6/21/2020, 7:35 pm

Black Beauty is a bush Zucchini plant, but it gets to a pretty good size - about 2' high and 3' diameter.

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Post  Eddie Willers on 8/31/2020, 4:07 pm

So in the end, I ended up removing all but one of the zucchini plants. I figured losing the 6 or so adjacent squares due to overcrowding just wasn't worth it. Of the plant that remained, it grew well, and the main stem grew up my trellis almost three feet. Not sure If I was supposed to but I managed to keep it manageable by trimming off the lower leaves as it grew taller. 

As it turned out, I only managed to harvest two or 3 full sized zucchini anyways because of squirrels. So definitely made the right call. 

Going to have to up my anti squirrel game for next year. Cayenne pepper, marigolds and wire mesh didn't seem to be enough to deter those little guys.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/1/2020, 10:26 am

@Eddie Willers wrote:So in the end, I ended up removing all but one of the zucchini plants. I figured losing the 6 or so adjacent squares due to overcrowding just wasn't worth it. Of the plant that remained, it grew well, and the main stem grew up my trellis almost three feet. Not sure If I was supposed to but I managed to keep it manageable by trimming off the lower leaves as it grew taller. 

As it turned out, I only managed to harvest two or 3 full sized zucchini anyways because of squirrels. So definitely made the right call. 

Going to have to up my anti squirrel game for next year. Cayenne pepper, marigolds and wire mesh didn't seem to be enough to deter those little guys.
Last year, I grew one zucchini and was swimming in it—still have some shredded and frozen in the freezer from it!  This year, I got 4 or 5, then the squash vine borers got them. (SVBs). They actually got all my squashes, but took longer to kill some of the others. 

As for squirrels; I gave up and now feed them cob corn in a hanging metal thing.  They totally love my ground cherries though, and did some major damage there.  This was really OK, since I apparently paid NO attention to the suggested spacing on the new variety I planted and put 5x too many plants in a single container!  See?  Mistakes are made!
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