Star Shaped Zucchini Slices -- Gadzukes Zucchini is fun and different!
Jan 5, 2009
Review by dlstewart
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:easy to grow, plentiful harvest, delicious, not your average zucchini
Cons:seed is expensive
The Bottom Line: Gadzukes zucchini is delicious, and its unique shape makes an attractive addition to a meal.
I enjoy trying different varieties of vegetables in my garden. For the past several years one of those fun and different vegetables is the Gadzukes Zucchini.
Recommend this product?
What Makes This Zucchini Different?
If you are familiar with zucchini, you know the typical squash color is green and that it is long in shape like a club. This squash has two-tone green stripes. What makes the Gadzukes Zucchini unique is its shape. Growing, it resembles a club with slight ridges along the surface. However, when the zucchini is sliced crosswise, the pieces are star shaped (something like an asterisk). So not only is this squash functional, but it is decorative.
I start most of my vegetable plants indoors in April, growing them under fluorescent lights (no special grow lights). I use Permanest plastic trays to hold plastic yogurt cups that are filled with soil. Using an awl, I punch three holes in the bottoms of the yogurt cups and fill each cup with either a seed-starting mix or with planting soil mixed with perlite (the perlite "lightens" the soil making it easier for the seeds to germinate).
Squash seeds are good for saving from year to year. For instance, I bought a packet of Gadzukes Zucchini three years ago and divided out the seed so that it lasted three growing seasons. Each year the seed had good germination results. The first year was the best, and the third year not as good ... but I still was able to grow more than enough plants for my garden.
I plant two of these seeds in each yogurt cup. Sometimes one seed sprouts, and other times both seeds germinate. If two seeds are growing, I delicately remove one of the seedlings and transplant it into its own yogurt cup. I have never lost a zucchini plant using this transplant method. (Just make sure you delicately remove the plant with all its roots.)
Once the weather is warm enough, I move the seedlings outdoors to "harden them off" so that they acclimate to the outdoor environment. I either place the plants on the lawn in the shade for the day, bringing them in at night. Or, I place the plants in a cold frame.
It is easy to transplant the Gadzukes Zucchini into the garden. The plants like full sun. I turn the yogurt cups upside down, keeping my fingers spread on either side of the plant stem across the top of the cup. Then I gently tap the yogurt cup bottom so that the plant slides out. As I plant in the vegetable garden, I add some organic fertilizer to the bottom of the hole, mixing it with some of the soil. I also place a "collar" around the plant to prevent cut worms from killing the new plant. I make the collars from large disposable plastic drinking cups, cutting each cup in half.
If you prefer, you can also plant these seeds directly into warm soil once the danger of frost has passed.
The plants take 55 days to produce zucchini. To harvest the squash, hold the zucchini and gently twist the squash in a circular motion until it releases from the plant. You can also cut the squash stem with a pair of shears. These squash plants produce a good amount of zucchini, too.
The squash can be picked at any size, but I find harvesting it when the zucchini is 6-8 inches long works best. If left to grow, the Gadzukes can become quite large. The seed cavity is then bigger and the squash not as flavorful, but it still tastes good.
Yum! Let's Eat!
My favorite use for the Gadzukes Zucchini is in casseroles. When sliced, the pieces resemble an asterisk star shape. The inside pale flesh is ringed with the darker green skin and has a striking appearance. The skin is tender, too. I always receive compliments when people see the uniquely shaped zucchini in the casserole dish.
Sometimes the squash gets away from me and becomes larger than I like for cooking the casseroles. That's when I grate the squash (skin and all) and use it for baking bread. It tastes delicious!
Since these plants yield a good amount of squash, I share the bounty with my neighbors and coworkers. Everyone compliments me on these zucchini.
Purchasing the Seed
This seed comes from Burpee. This year they are selling a packet of 25 seeds for $4.95.
I enjoy growing Gadzukes Zucchini. It makes a great addition to my garden, and it looks decorative in cooked dishes. The harvest is plentiful, and there is more than enough for me to share!
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Deluxe Pyramid Composter
Upside-Down Tomato Garden
Perma-Nest Plant Trays
Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed
Black & Decker Cordless Battery Mulching Lawnmower
Seeds: French Breakfast Radish, Small Sugar Pumpkin, Matina Tomato
Cucumber Seed: Marketmore Cucumber, Spacemaster Cucumber
Squash Seed: Zucchini Italiano Largo, Zephyr Squash
Bean Seed: Purple Beans, Soleil Yellow Beans
Copyright 2009 Dawn L. Stewart
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