Archive | 6:02 pm

Can you prune zucchini?

3 Jan

Zucchini taking over Bed A

Apparently you can.

I have been overwhelmed by the things. I planted a few, but only the one in full sun has thrived. That doesn’t matter, because I don’t think any family needs more than one.

I grew zucchinis last year and many times as a kid – I thought I knew all about them.

But it’s so easy to forget when you plant out this tiny little seedling just how big the monster is going to become. I’ve made zucchini slice, I’ve made zucchini pickles, I’ve made pie, and quiche, I’ve given them away.

They keep coming!

And this plant is having a few undesirable effects. Firstly – I planted it between edamame and the cucumber trellices, and they’re both being covered now. Secondly, I planted it under the establishing grapevine – that was my really big mistake. The spiky leaves are physically damaging the vine and leaves – scratching them to pieces and killing the leaves off. Secondly, both zucchinis and grapes are prone to powdery mildew, which was inviting trouble.

New third branch - coming towards the camera.

So I considered pulling the zucchini out, but I thought I’d answer a question I had been pondering – can you prune a zucchini plant?

My zucchini had taken off in two directions from the initial planting location. It had reached about 2 metres in length, maybe a bit more. More recently though it had branched out in a third direction, which presented an opportunity. I set out to completely cut off the two main branches, leaving only the centre of the bush and the new branch.

It’s not enjoyable work, I assure you. My arms were scratched to pieces, and I managed to kneel in a rotting zucchini, hiding undetected under the monstrosity. Zucchini sap smells like puke at the best of times, so rotting zucchini really wasn’t on my list of desirable things to coat myself in.

But at the end I had myself a much smaller zucchini plant, several handfuls of sensible-sized zucchini, and a good portion of my front garden bed back.

After a few days now I’m happy to report that the remaining bush seems fine. Growing nicely along the new fork, producing new fruit.

At least I think I’m happy.