Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Surprise Zucchini and More Luka Photos

Unlike many other garden bloggers, my zucchini plants are not doing so hot. Although I get tons of new female flowers, they all end up withering and dying. The ends are soggy and brown, and the zucchini never gets very long. It has been very distressing, and I don't quite understand the cause of this phenomenon.

My first thoughts: maybe the soil is lacking some nutrient or it's the humid weather. Then, I did some research online and I have decided that the cause for this is zucchini blossom end rot!

According to this article I read, the reasons for this dilemma is due to lack of lime in the soil, watering unevenly (not enough water, too much water, etc.), and lack of nutrients in the soil. But in June, I had added some organic fertilizer to all of the boxes (plus I added black kow, which helped out immensely!) Is it time to fertilize again?

Oy! Well despite my horrible luck with zucchinis, I did have one zucchini plant that grew to adulthood, with no blossom end rot, whatsoever!

Alas, only one zuc, but it was a tasty zuc at that!

Below: The surviving zucchini

Below: Here's how we ate our lone solider!

I sauteed the zucchini with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and caramelized garlic. Add a dash of sea salt and voila! A delicious side dish! Cam called it "gourmet." I was proud because I randomly mixed some ingredients together. But it was pretty yummy.

The zucchini was delicious. Next year, I will grow zucchini again. But I will also try different varieties as well. Maybe even add in squash. Yum! I am so excited.

And now, I present you more photos of Luka. Carole from Bartoo Backyard Adventures, former co-worker of Cam, requested some new photos. So here you go!

My feisty, hyper, energetic 3-month old kitten is getting big... and sadly, she won't sit still for a photo. These new photos do not display her cuteness because we couldn't get a good shot. She kept blinking and moving. And though, she loves to bite (or nip), she's still a lot of fun. She likes liking my face too. I think it's cute.... And she enjoys drinking out of the toilet, which I find disgusting and try to dissuade.


Susie said...

D.P. I wish I could advise you on your zucchini but mine didn't do any better. Some sort of insect ate mine away. Maybe next year we'll have better luck.

Also, that Luka is one cute kitty!

Gail said...

I am totally a cat person and love your precious cutie pie! I have a black cat, too...he has 5 or 6 little white hairs on his throat! gail

Dan said...

I hope I get zucchini that looks as good as yours the second time around after ending up with a pumpkin first!

I found a page from the University of Tennessee on fall vegetable gardening. I put the link on my blog comments but thought I would post it here too so I make sure you get it.

Eve said...

I am not one of those who had good zucchini this year. Even my yellow squash didn't do as well as they usually do. But there is always next year.
That looks like a very tasty way to make it.
You pretty cat looks a lot like my pepper did when he was that age. He got really big. I was surprised.
His Mama was so little.

tina said...

DP, you might want to get a soil test before planting next year. It will tell you the ph which could affect everything. Luka is getting big.

Dawn said...

Dp-Have you read about removing the blossom once alittle veggie starts to grow? I had this with my tomatoes one year and I read it was from cloudy weather, which we had alot of.
Luka looks fit and sleek compared to my black cat.

DP Nguyen said...

Susie, I hope we do have better luck next year. I'll learn more about soil preparation for the SFG boxes next year too, and maybe I won't have all these crazy problems. I'm sorry about your zucchinis too. Insects are nasty critters.

Gail- Thank you! She is very cute and she also has white hairs, but her white hairs are on her tummy. Black cats are so friendly, aren't they? So easy-going!

Dan- Thanks for the link! I will check it out as I plan for my fall crops. I think I may get seeds this time instead of seedlings.

Eve- I'm so glad to hear that I am not the only one that didn't have much luck with the zucchinis. I'd love to grow some squash as well. But yep, there is always next year.
I've met so many owners who have very big, black cats. I'm actually surprised, lol, because I never knew they could get so big. And Luka used to be so tiny, and she's growing so fast!! Do you still own his mommy cat?

Tina- I think for the square foot garden, I will definitely do the soil test next year instead of just dumping some organic soil into the boxes and planting. But this is a trial-and-error kind of experience!

Dawn- I haven't heard of that. But how interesting! We haven't had many cloudy days, but it has been rainy and cloudy lately. I wonder...
Luka is just very active and hyper, she runs around everywhere, so I think that's why she stays in shape. But when she becomes an adult, she'll sleep around all day, lol.

Skeeter said...

We are having the same problem with our zucks! So far we have not harvested one! Argggg...

Luka is so busy, no time for photo ops! lol...
Okay I had to laugh here, drinking out of toilet, licking me in the face... too funny...

Cindy said...

DP ~ Luka is such a cute kitty. My Baby girl really liked looking at the pictures, she was reaching out to touch the screen :)

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Skeeter- Grrr about your zucchini. I'm also annoyed with mine too. Maybe your plant will surprise you later this season.And yup, Luka is one funny cat.

Hi Cindy-Aww, what a cute image. I'm sure your baby girl is even cuter than Luka!

Carole said...

Thanks for the cat fix... she is like Pooh's younger sister.
I cannot let my 10-year-old see the photos or she'll want another kitten.
I swear good zucchini years only happen in years when everything else dies. Our plants are done for the year too now.

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Carole, maybe my zucchini will do better next year. It's a shame because that zucchini was so yummy. Your Pooh is so cute, and Luka is a smaller version of her. Except Luka is so hyper and never sleeps. Pooh seems relaxed. lol. I can't imagine getting another cat right now because Luka would be too jealous. LoL.