Name: Cucurbita pepo ‘Zephyr’ aka zephyr summer squash
Type of Plant: A vigorous summer squash that produces delicious tasting squash with nutty flavor and firm texture all summer. I’m talking gangbusters through the summer and into the fall.
Why I love this: Not only do the ‘Zephyr’ plants bear large quantities of tasty squash in the summer, but they keep producing even into the fall after the vines have powdery mildew. Anyone who grows summer squash knows that they are prone to the fungal disease, powdery mildew. Most of the time this causes the plants to shut down and die. But the remarkable Zephyr keep on making squash even after they have PM. I harvest these squash into October and up until hard frost!
This is, frankly, one example of when a hybrid vegetable is superior than an heirloom.
A Word to the Wise: It’s important to keep fighting powdery mildew even when you grow a vigorous variety such as Zephyr. Spraying weekly to every 10 days with an organic fungicide, beginning when the plants are very small, really helps. It’s always more effective to treat before a plant gets a fungal problem. So from the beginning use Green Cure, Serenade or Actinovate – or a similar organic fungicide frequently.
I grew Zephyr squash for the first time this year. What did I do wrong? It did not matter whether I picked young, small squash or left it on the vine too long the squash was woody and tough…the skin especially even after it was cooked. This is my first year growing veggies other than tomatoes so any help would be appreciated.
The only thing I can think of Judy is that it might have been watered too shallowly? Were you hand watering or using a sprinkler? If watering by hand they might not have gotten enough. This squash is firm but very tender and flavorful. I pick them when they are between 4 and 7 inches long…I never let them get more than 7 inches however.