Garden Confessions

zucchini plantI have a confession to make. I am terrible at growing zucchini.

Zukes are the “kindergarten” of gardening. Aspiring gardeners start with that and work their way toward more challenging vegetables. Zucchini are supposed to be the plant that makes a person feel like they accomplished something. Like they are a REAL gardener.

Every year I listen to the jokes about zucchini and secretly cringe. You know– if you leave your car unlocked while running errands in town you will come back and find it full of the bountiful veggie. Or, if you leave your house unlocked…

This year has been pretty normal. Things looked good at first and then powdery mildew, vine borers and zucchini season ended early. I had enough for what we needed, but I did not have any to give away. I actually would have tried a couple of new recipes this year if I had a few more.

I suppose I could always go to Plan B – like meeting some of my gardening friends on a street corner in town….I can imagine that conversation going something like this…

Me: “Hey, you got the stuff?”

Friend: “Yeah, how much you want?”

Me: “I don’t know. Last time, it went pretty fast. I will take more if you have extra.

Friend: “Sure, I got plenty. I even put a new variety in there for you. I think you will really like that one.”

Me: “Thanks, what do I owe you?”

Friend: Laughs and speeds away before I can change my mind and give back the zukes.

Me: Ashamedly look around hoping no one saw the transaction and figured out I did not grow my own zuchhini….

So, how about it readers? How much better are you at growing zucchini than I am? Is there something you wish you could grow better?


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at
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2 Responses to Garden Confessions

  1. Leslie says:

    I had trouble with Zucchini this year too. Not sure why, but I developed stem borers like no other. I finally got them under control though. When googling the problem, I found that if you “skewer” them just above where the damage is, you kill them. I tried it and it worked. Wish I would have known that before I pulled the other plant that had developed them. From what I understand there’s no real way to kill them otherwise, but in order to prevent them, you can bury the stem in the soil (though I haven’t tried it – I plan to next year). As for the powdery mildew, I have no advice. I am quite certain that’s what is now on my spaghetti squash now, but it didn’t seem to affect it earlier. I think that probably has a lot to do with the amount of rain we got in June (at least that’s what I’m suggesting you use for your excuse).

  2. Pingback: Garden Update: Invasion Of the Pumpkins | Fence Post Diaries

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