I'm gonna murder the zucchini!

lisaluJuly 9, 2007

Someone stop me! When I was doing my walk through in my garden this morning, I almost did it. But I decided to think about it a little longer before I condemn my zucchini plant to execution.

It is so freaking HUGE!! I actually have two zucchini plants. One of them is a little more well behaved and has kept itself in line with the yellow squashes on its row. It has produced only a few fruits - which are all I really need.

But this monster, who must be on steroids or something, is four times bigger than any other squash in my garden and presents me with an average of one zucchini ready to pick each day. I can't even walk down the row because of this behemoth. Its humongous leaves are shading nearby peppers and okra.

I had no idea they got this big - chalk it up to ignorance. I hate to pull out a plant with such a lusty enthusiasm for life and such a prolific offering of vegetables (that nobody wants to eat anymore!) Anybody got any ideas? Does it make sense to just prune it back? If that decreases production, that would be fine with me.

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lisalu, all i can say is make that zucchini bread and put it in the freezer... it will taste great in december!!! sarah

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:52AM
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I have that same problem...although i have 9 Zuke plants. I have 1 really big one that keeps growing and growing!
I trim mine and it does not hurt them. my plants are nice and healthy, - but giving me a little grief because i planted them way to close again( they were 1 ft apart). I harvested about 20 fruit this AM, and 8 or 9 were tiny little rotten ones that i threw out, the rest are perfect and between 5-7" long. So what i did while i was harvesting ------ the plant that has the most rotten fruit on it was yanked and put to rest. I am sure i will have a TON more by the end of the week since i improved the air-flow and gave a few some more room to spread :)it helps we finally have soke rain coming in right now too!

Go ahead and trim them btw i do it every year and it does not hurt my plants.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:50AM
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Feel free to prune your squash plants. You can prune stems to length or prune stems from the maim stem at the base. Do not prune more than 1/3 of the overall foliage at any one time.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:03AM
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Its funny when you are planting your seeds (or seedlings) 12"-18" inches apart seems like miles. Somehow it is hard to visualize how big they will really get. I'm taking pictures of my monster so I won't forget!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:53AM
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lelia(Northern Cal)

I do the same thing every year.... plant zukes a foot apart, and then they create an impenetrable jungle which makes it hard to harvest. This year I planted winter squash, melons and cukes on the steep side of my terraced raised bed, thinking they would gracefully drape over the side. What a dunce I am. Yeah, they're going over the side, but they're also going everywhere else. If I had a lot of gardening space I would definitely plant things farther apart, but there are too many things I want to grow, and too little space. Sigh.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:25PM
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Boy do I feel your pain. I am already sick of them and I planted way way way too many.. they are taking over everything.. I have to wear pants to get through the jungle because the buggers are so pricklily. I think I'm going to yank a few of them since i really am already getting people sick of squash.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:28PM
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lelia & spikeysmom,

Pull up every other plant and consider it food for your compost. No more reason to have no place to walk, no reason to feel sick.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:42PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

look at your zucchini bread recipe and see how much zucchini it takes and then shred them up and put them in packages the right size to make a batch,and freeze it. Then you can thaw it out and make bread any time. The zucchini looks ugly when it's thawed out, and some of the water comes out of it, but just go ahead and put it all in your batter, even the water and it turns out great!
Our neighbor puts out a little table out front with a cardboard sign and gives away his zucchini all summer. People are really happy to get it! One elderly handicapped lady comes all the time to get it. What a good deed you could do with your excess....

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:54PM
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Ha ha. I only have 2 zuke plants. One plant has yellow fruit (papaya pear is the name I think...yummy these are), the other plant has green fruit. Squirrels eat the green fruits before they get 4 inches long. So last night I fenced my plants with chicken wire. I want some green zukes!
Gardening sure is funny. You got too many, I can't get any without fencing. It's always something.
This fencing also protects my cantaloupe plants which are just setting flowers...I imagine squirrels would like cantaloupes. Too bad they ain't getting them none!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 1:03PM
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Wish I could send you some of mine! At church the other day someone had a basket of "Please Take All You Want" zucchini in the foyer.

(When the service was over, there were twice as many zukes as they started out with.....ha-ha!)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 2:13PM
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I have the same problem, but it's zukes, yellow squash, and flying saucers. I always vow to plant less, then can never bring myself to do it, lol. I think we should join gardeners anonymous and try to get help :)
Mrs H

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 3:17PM
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AAAHHH!! What am I doing wrong?? My zukes aren't that big yet! And they haven't put out a female flower yet! The summer squash, planted the same time, I just had my first harvest. Oh so fustrating!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 3:38PM
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tas123(z5 MI)

Kek19 - With all the drought we've been having, your zukes may just be taking a bit longer this year. Mine just kicked in this past week. My acorn squash still doesn't have any fruit set. I gave the garden a couple of really deep waterings last week and I think that helped quite a bit.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:21PM
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This post encouraged me to be a new member of this forum.

I have the same problem with the plant being HUGE, BUT all the zucchini's that grow from one of my plants, get about 4 inches long and then rot. The other plant has done nothing but grow bigger and bigger without any fruit.

So what's up with this?

As you can tell, I am new at this gardening, so I hope I am not asking stupid questions, and appreciate any help, suggestions given!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 6:33PM
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That is why I stopped planting zucchini years ago. I only plant yellow summer squash now. Kill the monster!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:38PM
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granite(z6 NC)

If the zucchini isn't pollinated, the fruit won't form past 2-4" in length and it will just shrivel and fall off.

Take the excess zucchini to your local food shelter. I also give it away to my non-gardening co-workers and neighbors, I call it a "drive-by fruiting."

Some zucchini cultivars are larger plants than others. I'm growing Black Beauty which is the most common variety and grows a WHOPPER of a plant. I'm also growing an Italian form "Cocozelle" which is a smaller bush-style zucchini. You may be able to moderate the size plant you produce by changing the variety of zucchini you grow.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:16PM
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Thanks Clare for signing the death warrant. LOL

Its funny, zucchini is one of those things we think we're "supposed" to plant even though few people actually love it. I like it okay, but its not like it has an amazing flavor or anything. I love yellow squash so much more and so does my family - in fact I usually cook the two together to get my family to eat the zucchini. I do like the contrasting colors of the yellow and green when I cook them together and that was the sole reason I planted it. Now I feel like it is something out of a horror movie "Attack of the Killer Zucchini"!

BTW...is zucchini by any chance related to kudzu????

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:20PM
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Welcome to GardenWeb. There is no reason to feel you're asking stupid questions (so long as you've searched the forum first to see if what you're looking for already has been discussed in an existing thread). But I understand that sometimes you may not even know what you're trying to ask in the first place.

Browse the following threads on...

Here is a link that might be useful: ... zucchini blossoms and pollination

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:41PM
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I just took two buckets to Bible class tonight. I let those there take a few and put more on top of their pile. I had about a bucket left over so I took it to the guy who wasn't there and left a whole bucket there without a note. I figure he can figure out how to get rid of a few extra.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:15PM
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I executed the zucchini this morning and I was actually very relieved. I picked the last zuke and tossed in on the compost heap. Whoo-hoo!!!

I will post a picture of the monster if someone will tell me how (?)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:55AM
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radagast(US east coast)

Just imagine if these plants were perennials and grew this fast every year - the whole planet would be covered with them!

My mom grows tomatoes, and it is staggering how fast they grow in on season.

Someday, when I no longer just have a balcony apartment, I might try my hand at melons of some sort or something, but probably not zucchini!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:14PM
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I have been planting zucchinis for the past two years. In fact I had so many of them last year, that since I coudn't give them away any more, I cooked them and freezed them. I still have frozen cooked zucchini's from last summer. And this year I planted 7 more plants. Of course I am swimming in them. So my sister presented me with 225 ways to cook zucchini and squashes. And I am having fun trying out new dishes. The only way my friend's get me to eat at their home in summer is if I am getting the food.....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:40PM
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lisalu - do you have kids?

My kids love when I bread and fry zucchini slices. They would eat them every day. Now, no doubt it is the breading and oil that makes them so tasty to the kids, but still - to hear "More squash please!" or "Mom, Monica's hogging all the squash!" is music to a mother's ears.

You can make the slices fairly thick, and so a small zucchini (6 - 7 inches) could give you a handful of slices - The kids would happily eat up several zucchinis this way. You can also slice them into the egg/milk a day or two before, if you want to harvest several days worth of zucchini and then fry it all in one go.

Marinated and grilled sliced zucchini is tasty for most grownups. It's easy.

Grilled zucchini:


Fried zucchini:


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:59PM
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I have learned to plant my zukes 6 feet apart, but I have NOT learned to plant just one seed at a time, or to thin them. I harvest them when they are about the size of a large hotdog so I won't end up with leftovers in the fridge. Still, I wait so impatiently for that first zucchini and by the end of July I too am plotting murder!

Besides stir fry, grilling, batter frying and bread, does anyone have another decent recipe? I usually stir fry mine with onion and garlic and serve over angel hair pasta.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 4:34PM
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You can use them in pancakes - though I don't have a recipe.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Yes, I have two sons at home. I have batter fried the zucchini and they liked it. My husband even liked it and he is not a big summer squash fan.

Last night I made squash casserole with a mixture of yellow and zucchini and my 16 year old ate every last bit - not one spoonful leftover.

I do have one "well behaved" zucchini left in my garden which I think will provide all I need. Like I said, I usually cook it along with yellow squash (sauteed, steamed, fried, casseroled, etc) and the family likes it pretty well that way. Although I like squash simply steamed or lightly sauteed, I have to make it appealing to the guys so it usually gets tricked up with a fattening disguise.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 6:04PM
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rhondas(Zone 6- WA)

I make a dish with grated zucchini and onion, bisquick, eggs,oregano, and such, that is a lot like a quiche. It is a great side dish, easy to make, and a real favorite. If anyone is interested in a recipe, let me know. I also have a VERY old cookie recipe that is my 85 year old dads favorite......and my grandbabies too! quiltsrcool@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 10:48AM
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hey!If you have a small local bakery(the kind that still bakes from scratch),they would probably love to have some of the very large ones(good for bread and muffins-not to mention choc. zucch. cake!!).I work at one like that and my boss loves when I bring them in.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 11:11AM
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I would like the quiche recipe. Sounds interesting.
I chucked the plant on top my compost heap, and for all I know it will take root and keep spitting out zucchini until I set fire to it! :)


    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 11:14AM
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mscratch(z6 S.E. Mo.)

Don't kill the zucchini.. I now put some in my flower beds! It's a long, harsh winter in Maine and anything that will turn green and grow, I am all for it..lol..

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 11:20AM
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