I would like to take a moment and share with you the story of our zucchini patch and how it pretty much defied all odds. Now I know that zucchini plants are known to be hardy crops and somewhat indestructible, but this year, our poor zucchini plants were given a wild ride all within their first few weeks of being planted out in the garden.
This story starts like every vegetable story here on the farm, with a seed, some potting soil, water and a good amount of heat. Zucchini require quite a bit of heat in order to germinate, and so we made sure they were nice and cozy on our heat tables. Within only a couple of weeks, these little seeds germinated and grew into arge seedlings - ready to venture out into the greater garden world.
Phase Two is where Tina-The-Tractor shines. Tina takes her job at bed prep very seriously. First the compost needs to be spread, then the amendments and fertilizers and finally a light scuffle to incorporate everything within the first few inches of the soil.
The crew comes in during Phase Three, transplanting each seedling 2 ft apart and covering them with a warm blanket that will protect them from common pests and cold spring nights. At this point, they're usually happy to be left alone for roughly a month's time, at which point we promptly return to find that our plants have started flowering and producing little fruits.
Oh no, not this year! The day after we transplanted them out in May, we experienced an early spring heat wave. As a result we were forced to uncover them in order to make sure they didn't bake under their protective blanket. Unfortunately, they were now exposed to the elements, which the pests took as a personal invitation and immediately started enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet. We did what we could to control the pest, using tangle foot to trap as many cucumber beetles as possible, but there was only so much we could do - especially with the myriad of other crops needing our attention!
I don't know if you remember, but following the heat wave we experience a huge wind storm, and finally to top it off, a heavy frost. Having uncovered earlier because of the heat, we now found ourselves scrambling to cover them up again. But this time, unfortunately we were tucking these little plants in WITH a ton of pests! The alternative was certain death from the frost. So we covered them, wished them luck and walked away. Sometimes that's all we can do; walk away, hope for the best, and tend to other plants. I honestly thought that was the end of those little seedlings, and started to imagine a summer without zucchini.
But they most certainly fooled us! We ended up only losing a handful of plants, with the majority looking absolutely fantastic! And for all of you zucchini lovers out there...may this season be deliciously zucchinirific!