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SWEET CORN and zucchini are popular and versatile summer grown vegetables which should be in the ground before the end of the year.
If zucchini are sown singly in small pots and brought in on a sunny window or a plastic house, then planted out when all danger of frosts has passed there should be a good harvest by Christmas time. Diligent daily harvesting is desirable, as they grow so quickly that they become pithy.
If saving for pickles, zucchini will keep well in the refrigerator if they are wrapped singly and closely with plastic film. Bread and butter pickles, made with either cucumbers or zucchinis, are delicious with meat or in a mixed salad.
They may also be grated and frozen raw, and used for vegetarian pies with sweet corn and other grated vegetables, grated cheese, eggs, oil, herbs, and a little SR flour.
Sweet corn and zucchinis enjoy similar conditions - plenty of moisture, which might be a problem if predictions of a dry growing season are correct, and plenty of organic matter and sunshine.
Mulching with pea straw will help to keep the soil moist for longer. Sweet corn is best grown in a block of three or four rows 50 to 60 cms apart. In this way, the female flowers enjoy the best chance of fertilisation, as the pollen falls from the male “tassels” onto the immature cobs which grow half way up the stem.
To freeze, leave all but the outer husks, and place them in the freezer in all available spaces. Once thawed they are indistinguishable from fresh ones.
December is the last month for sowing dwarf beans in the cooler districts of Meander Valley.