SQUASH 

The black zucchini squash is a fun plant to grow because you can harvest both the squash flowers and the squash itself! This plant will have a bountiful harvest, giving you many nutritious vegetables packed with vitamins a & c, zeaxanthin, and calcium. Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant that fights against cancer and supports eye health.

Plant your
Squash!

  • To plant squash seeds, draw a line with your finger that is ½ inch deep. Space seeds 24-36 inches apart, then cover with soil. Water seeds daily. After the squash plant becomes established to be 4-5 inches tall, you can reduce watering to fit your garden's needs.Like cucumber, squash plants will be large plants. Trellising your squash plants is a great way to keep your garden organized and can promote plant health.

Harvesting

  • It will be approximately 50 days from seed to harvest for your squash plants. Harvesting frequently will encourage your plant to continue to produce. For best results, harvest your zucchini at 6-8 inches of length. Squash can grow to be massive vegetables, however it will lose flavor and take away energy from the rest of your plant if you are not harvesting often.

There are a few reasons you may have many flowers on your squash plant but are not seeing vegetables grow

1. Your plant needs more time to produce
2. There are only male or female flowers on the plant
3. Your plants are lacking pollination.

More on Pollination
  • If you do not have both male and female flowers on your plant currently, do not worry. New flowers will grow and your plant will begin to reproduce. If you have many male flowers, you can harvest them and use them in recipes.
  • If you are lacking pollination, you will have both male and female flowers but no vegetables growing. We recommend planting pollinator-friendly plants that are native to your area, or using hand pollination techniques to pollinate your flowers.
Pollinator-friendly plants

Recipe

ZUCCHINI BREAD

Ingredients:


1 Cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil or apple sauce
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp nutmeg
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Grease 2 8x4 inch pans
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine the dry ingredients. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  • Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl to create a batter.
  • Add dry ingredients to the batter and beat well.
  • Grate zucchini, stir in the mixture along with the nuts until well combined.
  • Cool pans on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove from the pans and enjoy.

Stuffed Squash Flowers

In the first month of growing, you can expect to see squash flowers appearing from your plant. Vegetables only grow from female flowers after they have been pollinated by male flowers. This means if you have an abundance of male flowers on your plant, you can harvest them and use them in recipes! Make sure to only pick half of the male flowers on your plant to promote pollination.

You can determine if a blossom is male or female by how they look. Male flowers will have long green stems that sprout outwards from the plant. Female squash flowers will be shorter and in the middle of the plant. 

Harvesting

  • To harvest male squash flowers, simply cut their stems of pick of the flowers at the base. These blossoms are delicate, so be sure to handle them with care.

Stuffed Squash Flowers

Ingredients:

12 squash flowers (or however many you have)
7 ounces fresh ricotta
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp chopped mint
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp red pepper flakes
zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 for serving
1⁄4 cup all purpose flour
1 1⁄4 cups self-rising flour
1 cup wine or sparkling water
Piping bag or sandwich bag
Vegetable oil for frying
1 teaspoon salt
Plus additional few grinds freshly cracked pepper

  • Remove the stem of each flower. In a large bowl filled with cool water, rinse each flower by swishing it back and forth in the water gently. Place on paper towels to pat dry.
  • In a small bowl, beat or whisk together the ricotta, parmesan, mint, parsley, red pepper, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Place filling in a piping bag or sandwich bag.
  • Open up each flower and use the piping bag to fill each blossom until almost full with the filling. Carefully press the flower back together to enclose the filling inside.
  • Whisk together the sparking water and self rising flour to resemble a batter.
  • Lightly coat each blossom in all purpose flour.
  • Heat two inches of oil in a deep saucepan to 350 degrees and fry each blossom until golden and crisp (about three minutes).Drain the fried flowers on a paper towel and serve with lemon wedges.