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Zucchini: The Abode Gardener's Worst Friend? Amongst Bonus Garden-Related Rambling.

One of my master copy gardening goals has been to harvest to a greater extent than of something than I tin eat, despite my express gardening infinite hither inwards the Emerald City.  I desire the feeling of abundance that comes amongst having to save too give away nutrient because I can't swallow it all.

Enter zucchini.  My grandad used to tell that inwards New Bailiwick of Jersey inwards summertime, you'd convey to proceed your auto doors locked, otherwise the auto would endure total of zucchini the side yesteryear side fourth dimension you lot got in!  In mid-May, I planted 2 starts from my local grocery shop labeled "green zucchini", amongst no farther information.  I position them inwards a bed that used to endure a pile of composted Equus caballus manure, too that I had also embrace cropped, mulched, fertilized, too loosened deeply amongst my broadfork.  They await pleased.



To give you lot a sense of scale, those plants are almost 4 feet tall.  Each industrial plant life has been producing almost 2 fruit per 24-hour interval for the concluding several weeks.  Here's a photograph of my concluding harvest, which is 2 days' worth:


I picked six, thinking that was a pretty expert harvest, too thus industrial plant life 3 to a greater extent than lurkers nether the leaves every bit I was watering.

Moral victory is mine!  Now I convey to figure out how to purpose it all...

Friends convey been getting a lot of zucchini, but I've also been exploring novel ways to swallow too save it myself, because I'm getting sick of eating regular cooked zucchini inwards every dish.  I've discovered that raw zucchini is quite squeamish when it's immature too fresh; it has a crisp texture too mild flavor.  I incertitude zucchini from the grocery shop would endure real expert raw.  I've also been drying it, which is surprisingly good.  Zucchini "chips" are crunchy too a lilliputian chip sweet.  They're expert on their ain too tin also endure used instead of corn chips or staff of life for salsa too hummus.

I tried a few novel things inwards the garden this year.  One is the Interbay mulch technique, which involves putting compostable materials straight on the soil, roofing amongst burlap too letting it rip over the winter.  I used leaves for carbon too java grounds for nitrogen.  The leaves didn't compost every bit completely every bit I would convey liked, but I'd guess 50-60% of the fabric ended upwardly beingness incorporated into the bed yesteryear the fourth dimension I was ready to plant.  The soil doesn't await much different, but drainage seems significantly better.

The Vashon broadfork is a novel improver to my tool repertoire.  Loosening soil amongst a broadfork is infinitely easier too faster than amongst a regular garden fork or shovel, too you lot tin also loosen to a greater extent than deeply (14").  The broadfork is a useful but expensive tool that solely makes sense if you lot convey plenty province expanse to larn far worthwhile, and/or are obsessed amongst gardening.  I mean value the broadfork has something to practise amongst how expert my garden looks this year, although the consistently hot conditions has for sure helped!  One of my beds gained 3" inwards meridian subsequently loosening amongst the broadfork, a sure sign that compaction was going to restrict source increment inwards my crops.  Deep loosening allows roots to penetrate farther into the soil, increasing mineral too H2O access.

The 3rd novel affair I tried this twelvemonth is corn.  The maritime Northwest is known for its relatively cool summers too curt summertime growing season, which conspire to brand corn tillage difficult.  It tin supposedly endure done amongst a lilliputian forethought though.  I planted a super early on sweetness corn diverseness called "Strong Start", which looks fabulous thus far, though they haven't developed ears yet.

I'm most excited almost the few plants of "Painted Mountain" corn I planted.  This is a flour corn harvested for dry out grain, rather than a sweetness corn harvested for fresh eating.  Painted Mountain is an open-pollinated corn developed yesteryear Dave Christensen over xxx years of selecting genetically various corn populations for the curt flavor too rigorous growing conditions of his expanse of Montana.  It makes incredibly colorful ears too is supposed to endure expert eating.  I know I can't run into all my nutrient needs inwards my 300 foursquare human foot vegetable garden, but I practise bask experimenting amongst crops that could potentially feed me if I had to a greater extent than province (which I aim to someday).  Potatoes are #1 on the list, too they occupy almost a quarter of my garden each year.  But corn is also quite productive too slow to plant, harvest, too fix for a grain.

The Painted Mountain corn came upwardly strong, but instantly looks a chip scrawny side yesteryear side to my taller, larger, greener sweetness corn plants.  At first, I idea they were unhealthy, too I figured they were simply poorly adapted to this region.  It turns out, that's simply how Painted Mountain looks.  They solely grow to 4-5' tall, too each industrial plant life produces roughly 2 7" cobs.  I suppose that's what you lot larn when you lot pick out for early on yields.  Anyway, I await forrad to harvesting corn from my 4 Painted Mountain plants, too making a chip of corn flour or polenta from them.  I'll convey to hand-pollinate them thus the kernels don't halt upwardly taking on the characteristics of the neighboring sweetness corn likewise much.  If they yield well, side yesteryear side twelvemonth I'll industrial plant life a total bed.

Happy gardening!


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