Plant your zucchini crop in a sunny position in spring / summer. Wait until the last frosts are over.
Zucchini need a minimum of a square metre per plant – so allow plenty of room. They need regular watering and additional liquid feeding now and again doesn’t go astray.
Flowering: Male flowers appear about 10 days before female flowers. The theory being male flowers attract the bees with their pollen and nectar, by the time female flowers arrive, the bees are there, ready to do their pollination work.
If for some reason, the bees are not doing their job, you can hand pollinate. Best done in the morning when the flowers are open, pick a male flower (if you pull off the petals it is easier to handle) and gently brush the anther across the stigma of the female. This will transfer pollen from the male to the female. One male flower will pollinate several female flowers.
Below are a few of the popular varieties. Keep in mind that sometimes the availability of individual varieties can vary and we may not have all of these in stock every season.
Early maturing bush variety with dark green cylindrical fruit. This is the typical green zucchini most commonly used in cooking and can be used grated fresh. Harvest regularly over long period.
A highly attractive prostrate plant. Very large, dark green leaves with silver markings and abundant, long, dark green fruits. Use stuffed, roasted or fried. Try growing as a ground cover under corn and beans. Check every few days for fruit once cropping commences.
A distinctive Italian heirloom bush zucchini with prominently ribbed fruit. The skin is medium grey-green with pale green flecks. It is delicious raw or cooked with a nutty flavour. The male flower buds are also eaten. It stays tender even when very large. It is a favourite of the River Café and Jamie Oliver.
Relatively compact plants with gold-skinned fruit. Fast-growing, abundant crop that continues non-stop until frost. Try growing them in large containers. The gold colour makes it tougher for fruit to hide beneath green leaves, which means you’ll have fewer baseball bat-sized zucchini. For best flavour, pick when they’re 25cm or shorter.
Gold Rush is a high yielding variety with creamy-fleshed, yellow fruit. Use stuffed, roasted or fried. Try marinated, in pasta sauces, on pizzas, in casseroles, grated in rissoles or vegie burgers or in cakes.
A highly attractive prostrate plant with large, dark green leaves with silver markings. Abundant, short, thick, light green fruits. Mild and slightly sweet in flavour. Popular in Lebanese cooking, particularly stuffing. Roast, fry, marinate, grate into vegie burgers and cakes.
A highly vigorous variety of zucchini, growing easily to a height and width of 1.5m. Train it up a trellis to make great use of vertical spaces. Huge yields, fruits for months. Very pale green skin and can have varied faint white stripes with an outstanding flavour. Best picked around 25-30cm. All the seeds form in the bulbous part at the end, which means you’ve got a whole long length of stem with no seeds.