Beware the Zucchini Footballs

Squash vines growing, showing fruit, vines and leaves

Striped squash, almost ready to pick, hiding under the leaves.

Squashes like to hide in the garden. It’s one of their trickier qualities. The big leaves disguise all the good things that are growing on underneath. Sometimes the only way to see what’s what’s ready to pick is getting down to belly height. It’s worth it to be extra vigilant. If you balk at crouching, lift up those leaves and peek underneath. Most fruit are at their best at about 6 inches in length. Overlooking one of these at just the right size will result in giving you a football-sized version in a couple of weeks. While waving around blimp-sized zucchinis at astonished neighbours can be fun, they are not terribly desirable in the kitchen. So, keep your eyes peeled in the zucchini patch. I find I always spy that last zucchini just as I’m about to leave the garden, and I wonder how I managed to miss it earlier. Especially when it’s the biggest one there.

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