Mark your calendars! Aug. 8 is “National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!”
Really, it’s a thing.
There’s even a hashtag on social media.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise due to overzealous planting of this easy to cultivate, high producing fruit (yes, botanically, zucchini is considered a fruit) gardeners everywhere are often overrun with squash and zucchini in August and need a place for them to go.
There are a couple of factors that make this plant a producing perfect storm, but the main one is simply zucchini is easy to grow. It’s not fussy about soil type and requires very little care.
Zucchini plants also produce more flowers than other plants such as peppers and eggplant and once you pull a zucchini another one is seemingly in its place.
The plants have both male and female flowers, about three male flowers to every female, and pollination is pretty easy, thanks to bees and other insects. Or you can self-pollinate as needed.
Zucchini production is cyclical, so if you want to have your plants produce less, leave a few mature fruit on the plant.
If you want to have more production, cut them as they reach maturity — at least 4 inches in length.
If you want enough zucchini for your family for the season, one well-maintained plant should be plenty.
Just one plant can produce six to 10 pounds of zucchini in one season.
If you planted more than one, Aug. 8 is your big day.
Often seen with the complementary cache of zucchini are some bonus tomatoes.
Tomatoes are an abundant fruit with harvest peaking during the hot summer months — and fare well with even the most novice gardeners.
On average, a staked tomato plant produces about 8 pounds of fruit, while a caged plant or trained trellis plant can produce 12 to 20 pounds.
This can vary widely by plant variety and climate but tomatoes tend to be pretty prolific producers with “perfect flowers” as botanists say — meaning the plant is self-pollinating as the flowers have both male and female structures.
If Mother Nature lends them a windy day or an early morning thunderstorm — pollination is complete.
Easy breezy. Literally.
Searching the calendar, it doesn’t appear that tomatoes have their own designated day to be given to neighbor, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try to hitchhike with their zucchini friends.