There is an old tradition of slipping your family, friends and neighbors some summer squash whenever you can manage, because home gardeners are usually drowning in zucchini and summer squash around this time of year. In fact, August 8 is the official “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night.”
You know who will not be participating in that holiday? The Savvy Household. Because somehow, zucchini seems to be one of the only things I cannot successfully grow.
The other one? Peppers. I think it just doesn’t get sunny and hot enough in the backyard for long enough.
The first year we were in the house, my zucchini plants got a bad case of powdery mildew and had to be tossed before any vegetables formed. Last year, they were attacked by bugs, and I again got zero zucchini. This summer, my zucchini plants were lush and leafy. I cross-planted them with borage and nasturtium to help with the bugs, and everything seemed to be going well. Except, the female flowers never seemed to open. The result? Tiny 2″-long zucchini-to-be that withered and died because they never got pollinated.
Sad face. However, I have been getting a ton of cucumbers (5 last week alone, and plenty more babies on the vine) and the beans have started coming in. I’ve never had more basil, and I just harvested the garlic and shallots. And I think I’m going to throw in the towel on the zucchini this week and plant some carrots and salad greens in their place.