Saturday Spotlight – Black Zucchini

I grew zucchini for the first time in ages this year and I have to say I quite enjoyed the experience.  So much so that I think I will grow it again next summer.  Now I have to admit to not being a real zucchini connoisseur so my selection of variety is perhaps a little pedestrian.  Having said that it did really well for me; it grew easily, provided lots of zucchinis and a reasonable number of flowers.  All in all it was definitely worth growing.  I’m sure there are named varieties of ‘Black zucchini’ but mine was called simply that.

Black Zucchini

I sowed my seed in July inside moving the seedling outside into a cold frame when it germinated.  I sowed the seeds direct into herb pots, one seed per pot.  From the two pots I sowed one germinated which was enough for me as I only really wanted to grow one plant.  And frankly one plant was enough for our needs providing a zucchini every other day during the main cropping season.


My first zucchini harvest last season (pictured below) was in late November, which is pretty quick for a summer crop – if only my July sown tomatoes were cropping in November….


I had comparatively few issues growing zucchini.  I had reasonable fruit set although the occasional one didn’t pollinate properly and rotted at the flowering end rather than growing on.  The fruits weren’t attacked by anything, unlike my other crops, and although the plant was eventually overwhelmed by powdery mildew that only happened within the last couple of weeks.  All in all a very positive experience.

Zucchini Flowers

I think I enjoyed eating the flowers more than the zucchini themselves but I did make some lovely dishes with the fruit as well.

Zucchini Pie interior Zucchini Fritters Zucchini Cake Zucchini Pie

What variety of zucchini do you grow?  Would you recommend it?

Saturday Spotlight is a series of posts highlighting particular varieties of edible plants.  If you have a favourite, or even a less than successful variety of a plant and would like to include it in the series then please leave a comment with a link below.    I have created a page (above, just below the header) with an Index of all the Spotlights to date.   I will add links to any new posts below and in next weeks post as well as ensuring they appear in the Index.  

New Spotlights last week were:

 Pea Eggplant – Kebun Malay-Kadazan Girls

Cream Garlic – My Little Garden Project

And from this week:

Spearmint ‘The Best’ – Our Happy Acres

 Autumn Raspberries – Bek’s Backyard

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28 Responses to Saturday Spotlight – Black Zucchini

  1. Daphne says:

    I grow costata romenesca which I adore. I like the taste much better than normal zucchini. But I dislike its rambling habit. The vine can easily grow 8′ over the season. So it takes more room than a normal one. It is very prolific though.

    • Liz says:

      Wow that is big – too big for my garden I have to say. It does seem pretty popular though so maybe I persuade my father to grow it – he has plenty of space for it to run into.

  2. lili says:

    I’ve been hemming and hawing about zucchini. Everyone says they’re easy to grow and fruit really well… but I just don’t really like it as a vegetable. Maybe if I grow my own I’ll develop a taste for it.

    • Liz says:

      Hmmm although home grown zucchini does taste better – fresher with a better texture I’m not sure that alone would tempt someone into developing a taste for it. It certainly hasn’t worked for my partner or kids. I reckon if you don’t like it don’t grow it otherwise you’ll just end up either feeling like you have to cook stuff you don’t want to eat or you’ll have a lot of compost.

  3. They are generally a glut guaranteed plant! We like the round ones for stuffing.

  4. Dave's SFG says:

    I planted Dunja last year. It’s a black zucchini with compact form (good for raised beds) that produces consistently through the season and has resistance to PM. I also planted costata romanesco, which is also great but does ramble (and you have to let it ramble because new flowers appear mostly on the new growth). You are lucky not to have squash bugs and vine borers, which are a plague here.

    • Liz says:

      I am really pleased we don’t have them – they sound really really annoying. I don’t think I like zucchini enough for a rambling variety, not unless I suddenly get a lot more space than I currently have.

  5. Dave says:

    I have to say I can’t tell a whole lot of difference in how different varieties of zucchini taste. That doesn’t stop me from growing several of them though, based on how they perform, and their size, shape and color. I do like the striped Striata d’Italia and the dark green Raven, which is more compact than some and looks a lot like your Black Zucchini.

  6. Michelle says:

    The last few years I’ve grown “da fiore” which is supposed to produce lots of flowers and just a few squash. I didn’t really find that it produced any more flowers or less squash than other varieties, but the zucchini were good so I kept growing it until I ran out of seeds. This year I’m trying “Romanesco” and “Ortolano di Faenza”.

    • Liz says:

      I do like the idea of a variety which produces lots of flowers. It will be interested to see if you think there’s much difference between varieties from a flavour perspective.

  7. I love zucchini! I can’t wait to plant it this year. Ours will have to wait until the end of July to be planted, as we’re away until then.

  8. Louise says:

    I grew Greenskin this year but it was such a stinker of a summer here that nothing really thrived – it was just too hot and dry for most plants.

    Next summer I am going to grow a variety of colours – yellow, dark green and light green and make an attempt at the 3 zucchinis under 18cms class in the Gundagai Show.

    • Liz says:

      Oh such fabulous hopes and dreams… I just simply must find myself a show to exhibit in. Then again maybe I shouldn’t as I think I’d find myself becoming ridiculously addicted to competitive vegetable growing.

  9. I grew the diggers club tri colour mix, So the black variety, a yellow one and a ‘white’ one which was actually light green with white spots, and I think it’s actually known as the Lebanese zucchini. I grew a couple of plants so I could freeze some for winter soups

    • Liz says:

      Wow 3 plants – that is a lot of zucchini and a lot of garden space taken up. I admire your dedication to a much maligned vegetable.

  10. I have had great success with Tromboncino in the past but haven’t planted it for a few years. I have had limited success with any other types for a couple of years although I did get a good crop this year with Costata.

    • Liz says:

      I have been thinking about growing Tromboncino but I’m a bit concerned about its potential for taking over the garden….I just don’t like zucchini that much.

  11. Sarah says:

    Your plant looks really productive in that first photo. I’ve been growing ‘Striato d’Italia’, but I’m not enough of an expert to say the flavour is better than others.

    • Liz says:

      I have a sneaking suspicion that all zucchinis taste pretty much the same, or perhaps its just my lack of a palate.

  12. Bek says:

    I love zucchini, even if they are so productive some end up in the compost. I don’t think flavour wise there are any standouts – but I like Costata for its mottled light green skin. I’ve tried to grow gold skinned ones for the last few years and each time they’ve died on me. Maybe next year is the year…

  13. We grow the costata romanesco also — has distinctive ribs and a bit more character, with a dense, creamy flesh; grills up beautifully!

    • Liz says:

      Nice recommendation – I will seek it out. I like the idea of the ribs, I do like veg with texture- aesthetically anyway.

  14. Nick says:

    I did the black variety as well — I loved how many bees they attracted. I’m in agreement that the flowers were the best part. This year I’m trying Cocozelle as well.

  15. Pingback: Plant Seeds, Bulbs & seedlings for Sale » How to Grow Zucchini from Seeds

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