Now that the summer heat has leveled out a bit, gardeners throughout the Pacific Northwest are carefully tending to their crops. In Greta’s garden, this is the time of year when she does the most weeding, watering, and watching the zucchini grow like crazy. This month, Greta shares her famous zucchini recipe and how to freeze those invasive vegetables for later.
Careful Watering, Weeding, Harvesting, and Netting
Because Greta and her family chose a no-till garden, weeds have a hard time finding a place to root. The added bonus: the straw over the soil helps keep moisture in, even on hot summer days. Greta and the kids simply water in the morning and night for a robust, happy garden.
Wondering when your blueberries will be ready?
Just watch the birds. They’ll know exactly when those tiny berries are ready for harvest. But, if left unchecked, those same birds will eat them all. To protect her blueberries from being devoured, Greta covers each bush with tool netting. You can also pick up garden netting at Coastal.
Want to get more out of your broccoli?
Greta gets more than one harvest off each plant. First she’ll cut the crown when it’s ready, then continue watering the plants. A second and even third harvest is possible with careful pruning.
How to Deal with Zucchini
If you’ve ever found bags of zucchini left by your front door by an anonymous neighbor, someone has planted too much zucchini. But there are things you can do with those veggies to get the most from your hard work and watering.
Greta pulls hers when they are at or about 8-inches long. Then, she’ll freeze them. It’s a simple process that doesn’t require blanching.
- Top and tail the veggies. That means cutting off the top and bottom of each zucchini.
- Grate the zucchini. A food processer is fine as long as you don’t overdo it and turn the zucchini isn’t mush.
- Measure out 2 cups of grated zucchini and place it into zip-lock bags. Be careful to remove as much of the air as you can. If you have a vacuum sealer, those work great as well. We have an article on vacuum sealing basics to help you get started. Or check out Things You Can Freeze to Save Time and Money as well as Canning vs. Freezing in Today’s Face-Paced World.
When she’s ready to use her zucchini later in the year (and over the winter), she just pulls out a bag and lets it thaw. It’s already measured out for her famous zucchini bread.
Greta’s Zucchini Bread Recipe
Even if you have too much zucchini growing in the garden, this bread recipe makes everyone happy. Greta’s recipe is quick, easy, and uses ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen.
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup oil
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat your oven to 325º F and grease two 9x5 loaf pans. In a medium bowl, mix your eggs, butter, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla. In a second bowl, blend the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and chopped nuts. Then stir that mixture in with the first bowl.
Spread into the loaf pans and bake for 60 minutes or until the center of each loaf
Get Your Garden Essentials at Coastal
You’ll find a complete yard and garden section at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. That includes seeds, starts, gloves, hoses, sprinklers, and everything else you need to get the most from your piece of outdoor paradise.