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Inedible Hard Veggies.

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Inedible Hard Veggies.

Post  jwbryson on 7/19/2010, 10:26 am

We harvested some yellow zucchini and cucumbers recently and ate the cuke's this weekend. The flesh was a bit soft, but edible, but the seeds were particularly hard. We ate them, but they were not the best cukes we've ever eaten.

Then last night I planned to cook the yellow zukes, but when I cut into them, the first was particularly hard and the seeds were very dry. The next was a bit softer, but the seeds also looked pretty dry and inedible. They sort of looked hollow. Needless to say, we tossed the bunch of them.

I picked the cuke's and zuke's when they were about the length of store bought veggies, so I didn't think I was harvesting them too early. Maybe I'm wrong?

Any thoughts on what could be causing this?

Thanks.
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Re: Inedible Hard Veggies.

Post  camprn on 7/19/2010, 11:15 am

My guess is that they were just a bit over mature. have you tried picking smaller ones? My guess is they would be a bit more tender.
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Re: Inedible Hard Veggies.

Post  Weedless_ on 7/19/2010, 11:16 am

I think you picked them too late, not too early. Sometimes cukes get "woody" and somewhat dry. I don't have prior experience with zukes. Hope you find your answers.
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Re: Inedible Hard Veggies.

Post  Megan on 7/19/2010, 7:00 pm

How long were the zukes you picked? Have any pictures of similar sized ones?
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Hard seeds, but salvageable

Post  ander217 on 7/20/2010, 6:45 am

I agree, it sounds as though your cukes and zukes were overmature. What varieties did you plant?

If I happen to miss picking a zuke or cuke at the proper time and hard seeds develop, I take a spoon and scoop out the seed cavity. If the rind is hard it can always be peeled. The quality of these won't be as good as those picked in top condition, but they are salvageable.

I sometimes use the scooped-out fruits for stuffing. Mix up a meat and onion filling for squash and bake them, or make a cold salad for stuffing cucumber boats - chicken salad, ham salad, egg salad, etc.
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Weird squash?

Post  junequilt on 7/20/2010, 4:27 pm

I'm beginning to wonder if a large seed producer's squash stock got crossed with something undesirable for eating, such as a gourd.

A friend had been telling me about her yellow summer squash that has a hard, bumpy surface and huge seed cavity. She gave me some over the weekend and, unlike summer squash (which has a soft, edible skin), this stuff has a RIND. It cuts like a winter squash. The interior has very little flesh and the center is a large cavity, relatively dry and full of seeds, with a lufa-like webbing. This is definitely not any yellow summer squash I have previously encountered!

We went ahead a cooked it anyway. The rind never tenderized. The flesh did, and taste-wise it was simillar to butternut squash There just wasn't very much of it!

This squash came from plants that my friend bought at a local big-box store. I don't know who the grower was.

In the matter of cukes, most of us home gardeners need to pick them very young to avoid the setting of seeds, and if you see one starting to swell, pick it immediately even if it is only two inches long. Mine never reach store-bought length.
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Re: Inedible Hard Veggies.

Post  Megan on 7/20/2010, 5:47 pm

@junequilt wrote:In the matter of cukes, most of us home gardeners need to pick them very young to avoid the setting of seeds, and if you see one starting to swell, pick it immediately even if it is only two inches long. Mine never reach store-bought length.

Mine swell like someone is blowing up a balloon... they swell from the stem end and at first the blossom end looks like the "mini" cuke behind the flower, narrow and very spikey. It's almost as though the spikes spread out as the cuke swells up.
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Bumpy squash

Post  ander217 on 7/21/2010, 8:30 am

@junequilt wrote:
A friend had been telling me about her yellow summer squash that has a hard, bumpy surface and huge seed cavity. She gave me some over the weekend and, unlike summer squash (which has a soft, edible skin), this stuff has a RIND. It cuts like a winter squash. The interior has very little flesh and the center is a large cavity, relatively dry and full of seeds, with a lufa-like webbing. This is definitely not any yellow summer squash I have previously encountered!

This still sounds to me like a yellow crookneck squash that is way overmature. They will develop hard rinds and get bumpy, and turn a deeper color when too old for eating. At that stage the seed cavities will look like the inside of a pumpkin - stringy with hard seeds. (That's what you do with a squash when you want to save the seeds for replanting.) If your friend is seeing large seeds in the cavity, then that's a clue she has left the squash on the vine too long before picking.

She may have a baby crookneck variety that should be picked when very small.
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