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How to Pick Zucchini

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How to Pick Zucchini

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Overview

A member of the summer squash family, zucchini is a versatile vegetable in the summer garden. The plant produces prolifically from mid-summer until the first fall frost kills it off. There are many varieties of zucchini available, from the long, green types readily available at most grocery stores to those bright yellow in color, as well as small, perfectly spherical varieties. Frequent harvesting encourages the plant to set more blossoms and fruit. Pick the zucchini at the right time using the proper method to ensure you have the best quality vegetable, but don't damage the plant.

Step 1

Examine the zucchini on the plant for ripeness. Harvest when the zucchini is at its full color and the skin is still glossy. Long zucchini are generally 6 to 8 inches long at prime picking time, while spherical zucchini are about 5 to 7 inches in diameter when ready-to-harvest.

Step 2

Support the zucchini in one hand. Avoid yanking or pulling on the stem.

Step 3

Cut through the stem with a sharp knife using the other hand. Leave 1 inch of stem attached to the zucchini.

Step 4

Store the zucchini in the refrigerator until ready to use. Zucchini can also be sliced, shredded and frozen as well, but be aware that thawed zucchini releases a lot of liquid.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not yank, pull or twist the vine when harvesting. This can cause permanent damage to the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife

References

  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Summer Squash Production
  • University of Illinois Extension: Summer Squash
Keywords: picking zucchini, harvesting summer squash, harvesting vegetables

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.