Cucurbits: Zucchini and Summer Squash

With dozens of cucurbit vegetable varieties to choose from, the right selection means the difference between success and disappointment. Use this guide to determine what zucchini and summer squash will suit you best.
From: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Vegetable Gardening

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Zucchini ‘Zucchini’

A reliable variety that forms a bushy plant, well suited to growing in a container. Zucchini with dark green skins and tasty pale flesh are produced in profusion from midsummer. Like all zucchini, they are best picked young.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to early fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Zucchini ‘Defender’ F1

A phenomenally productive early variety. If harvested small, fruits will keep coming until mid-fall, and they are delicious. Plants are resistant to cucumber mosaic virus, which can cause other varieties to fail.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Zucchini ‘Tromboncino’

This vigorous Italian variety is best trained up a sunny wall to afford everyone a good view of its long, curved, bulbous-ended fruits. The pale green fruits can reach more than12 in (30 cm) long.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to early fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Zucchini ‘Venus’ F1

Unusually compact, these plants are great for containers or small gardens, and still produce ample crops of delicious, mid-green zucchini. In good conditions, fruits are ready to harvest 60 days after planting.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Early summer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Zucchini ‘Burpee’s Golden’

Another prolific zucchini variety that bears numerous decorative and delicious bright yellow fruits. The zucchini have a particularly fine flavor, especially when harvested small.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to early fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Summer squash ‘Long Green Bush’

Despite its name, this variety forms quite a compact, bushy plant, making it suitable for the smaller garden. Long, deep green fruits, with pale green marrow stripes, swell rapidly, but can be picked as zucchini when small.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

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