Questions about round zucchini

lilacs_of_mayJuly 25, 2008

My 8 Ball zucchini plant has consented to give me a zucchini. It's gotten fairly big, about 4 inches wide and 5 inches long. My question is, how do I know it's ripe? Do I wait for it to get round rather than oblong? Or are 8 Ball zucchini in the field (vs. in the showroom) not always billiard ball round?

I hope this plant will eventually give me more zucchinis.

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This is my first year growing them. I've read they taste best picked at about 3"-4" in diameter, so that's when I'm picking them. I'm sure I'll end up forgetting about them and getting some large ones that I'll use in zucchini bread, as they will be less tender. Just as with regular zucchini, the size you let it get to depends on how you're going to use it. Try not to let them get too big, though, or the plant will stop producing.
The first one I picked I simply sliced and sauteed with a little olive oil and seasoning. It was very good.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 12:38AM
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I guess I didn't make myself clear. Should I wait for them to get round? Are they ripe if they're oblong and not round? Is round kind of the ideal 8 Ball zucchini that doesn't always happen?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 3:18AM
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mscratch(z6 S.E. Mo.)

You may pick them when they are the size of an eight ball as in pool or billiard ball for the most tender and mild flavor or you can just let them grow larger, and they will grow quite large which I prefer for making relish or grilling. I cannot recall mine ever being oblong so I have no idea about that?? I am not saying it cannot happen re: being oblong, and you certainly can pick them at whatever stage you want. I think that if I had oblong ones I would most likely pick them at the size of a small eggplant which would probably be about the 4-6" size as mentioned.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 7:34AM
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I had a couple of odd shaped ones. I think one was wedged in between the stalks. Pick it now. They are best between baseball and softball size, but I've had a few that were even larger and they were fine.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 7:43AM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

I've never grown 8 Ball (although I have grown Roly Poly), but in my experience zuccchini is "ripe" at any size. There really is no ripening process, just an aging process. The older (bigger) they get, the larger the seeds and the less flavor they have.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:43AM
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We don't actually eat zukes and cukes when ripe but rather in the green stage. They turn yellow then get mushy when ripe. Most folks want to eat them before the seeds get too big, but just select a size that suits what you want to do with them, harvest and enjoy.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:48AM
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First all zukes are eaten in the immature stage. You definitely do not want a ripe Zuke unless you are saving seeds. Eight Ball is about as round as Zukes get ( its sisters Cue Ball and One Ball are the same size and shape). It can be used at any time up til the seeds begin to form, best at two- 3 inches ( size of a pool ball) The larger sizes can scooped out and used for stuffed zucchini.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:50AM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

They look delicious! I'm guessing 8 Ball has replaced Roly Poly, as I haven't seen seeds of the latter.

Lilacs, I just ran across the recommendation of Territorial Seeds for 8 Ball: "Harvest these perfectly round globes anytime from golf ball size to cue ball size . . . "

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 10:00AM
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If your zucchini is really the shape of traditional zucchini you may have gotten the wrong seed and actually be growing a traditional zucchini. 8ball doesn't change shape the female blossoms have tiny round balls before the flower and after polination the balls become larger and the flower falls off, like in the picture above.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:38AM
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Alisande; Roly Poly is still available. It newer counter parts are Geode and Cue Ball ( medium to light green fruits)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 1:01PM
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Well, it's either an 8 Ball or a Ronde De Nice. I also planted a Black Eel, but I can see that the female blossoms have a thickened, elongated stem.

The round zucchini I'm talking about definitely had a round swelling on the female blossoms.

Hm. Odd. Thanks for the comments. Whatever the shape, I guess I can eat it now.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:45PM
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Ok. I know this one as Tonda de Nizza, but some places sell it as Rond of Nice. Same suggestions as to eating size.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:56PM
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I harvested my 8 Ball zucchini today. It's definitely an 8 Ball, but it isn't round. It's kind of an egg shape. I'll try to get a picture of it before I chow down on it.

I hope I get more. There's still plenty of summer left.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 1:38AM
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zachslc(6 Salt Lake City)

Last year I had some round zucchini volunteer from my compost. I let them go and when they matured into basically a pumpkin with a grey-brown outer skin. They were quite good to eat as winter squash and made nice halloween pumpkins.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 3:20PM
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I received some round zucchini seeds in a trade and unluckly none germinated. I was looking forward to some stuffed zucchini. Next year I will be purchasing some fresh seeds.

Has anyone stuffed theirs? Any good recipes?


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:28PM
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I know it's late in the season but I'll throw in anyway.
Tondo di Nizza and Ronde de Nice are the same. Tondo di Nizza is just Ronde de Nice in Italian. Round from Nice (France). I like to look up the meanings of the names of some of these veggies and talk to my customers about them. It really sparks up interest and a lot of times they will buy what they consider as exotic because one does not usually find a Tondo di Nizza zucchini in the grocery store.
People love the round zucchinis and I put recipes for stuffing them on my table. Also had a yellow squash that looked like a papaya. I belive it was called papaya too.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 7:19PM
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One plant gave me egg-shaped 8-Ball zucchini. The other plant gave me nearly round 8-Ball zucchini. I finally got a single Ronde de Nice, and since the season ends this week, that's probably all I'll get. The Ronde de Nice was kind of egg-shaped, a little lopsided, bigger on the side that was up and facing the sun. I also got plenty of Black Eel zucchini, including one in back that I didn't see until it got to be about 12 inches long.

Lots of zucchini. They were good producers. I have two loaves of chocolate zucchini bread baking in the oven as I write.

I skimped on the nuts, though. The recipe called for a cup of chopped nuts, which is several dollars worth at today's prices.

I love making stuffed zucchini out of the round ones. They look so cute with their little hats (lids, whatever). I use chopped zucchini, chopped mushroom, cheese, bread crumbs, an egg, chopped garlic, a little soy sauce, and a touch of nutmeg. Yum!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 5:29AM
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I started planting Ball Zuchini 3-4 years go. The first year they were all round and dark green.
I decided to save the seeds so I wouldn't have to buy them.
Since i started saving seeds, i have been getting different varieties.
Such as: Round dark green zuchini
Round white zuchini
Round white zuchini with green stripes

Dark Green oval shape zuchini
White oval shape zuchini
White oval shape zuchini with green stripes

Are the above results normal?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:32PM
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