Growing zucchini in a protected greenhouse actually works for me. Wow. Pickleworm has been the number one problem before, and the screened greenhouse solved that by blocking the moth. Powdery mildew was the other crop destroyer, but spraying the foliage with a sulfur spray controlled it. Being in a greenhouse meant that the sulfur didn't get washed off by rain, so it was very effective in preventing mildew. And squash borer also couldn't get past the screening to destroy the plants.
I tried 3 varieties and found one that far out preformed the other two. "Desert" produced and grew the best. I plan to try another variety with parthenocarpic traits and see how it compares to Desert.
I initially planted the seedlings too close together. Over time the plants trailed, developing 2 1/2 to 3 foot stems, interfering with one another and making it difficult to harvest and care for them. Plus I planted them all at the same time, rather than spacing the timing out. So in the future I plan to plant two seedlings, wait a month and plant two more, and repeat. The goal will be to have a total of 6 zucchini plants producing on different time schedules. I know this could work during the summer half of the year here. We shall see if this plan works during the winter half. If it does work, then I potentially could have a supply of zucchini for our table year around.
This experiment yielded 57 zucchini. Plus I still have one plant still producing, with three little squashes soon to be ready for picking.
I've learned that growing greenhouse cukes could work on my farm, but I need to dramatically improve the growing conditions. I need to learn more. Some of the varieties I tried did better than others, and only one did really good. But I suspect that's because I don't have the soil and nutrients right for cukes. And I don't have the watering timed well enough. Powdery mildew became a problem before I got a handle on it, thus it effected the plants.
All the varieties I tried were worthy of growing, so I don't plan to discard any of the leftover seed. I'll grow them all again.
This experiment yielded 53 cucumbers and I kept the Saber variety plants, thus I'll be getting more for the next week or two. But the plants are looking old, so I don't know how long they will hang in there. And as I said, I don't have the growing conditions right yet.
All the tomatoes are doing great in the greenhouse. And I'm just now starting to get large tomatoes. So I'd deem this a total success. I might be picking my first tomato next week.
Just as with the tomatoes, the peppers are doing very well. The plants are a lot taller than when grown out in the main garden, which may have to do with reduce light intensity. They are just starting to produce peppers, so it looks successful. Being that the plants are tall, I may need to provide some support stakes for them when the peppers start developing. The weight may cause the plants to lean.
Since I've been harvesting lima beans, I declare this experiment a success. It's the first time I've been able to harvest enough limas to eat. The next step in this experiment will be to test varieties, to find ones that do better than others and that I like to grow.
Succotash variety produced earlier than the others, but it is not nearly as productive in the long run. The vines appear to have stopped growing now. I can't say that for certain yet, but I'm not seeing fresh new growth. Being that it isn't very productive this first time trying it, I'm thinking I need to give it a second chance. Perhaps the soil isn't quite right. I like the colorful beans, but I find a lot of duds in the pods. I don't know if this a variety trait or a deficit in the growing conditions. I'll try growing this again to see how it does the second time around.
Dixie Speckled Butterpea is a winner! It's growing well and producing tons of limas. It's easier to shell than Succotash and doesn't have the problem with duds in the pods. It's out producing Succotash by a mile. I'll definitely grow this one on a regular basis.
Jackson Wonder - the verdict is still out. The plants are growing well but it is a later bloomer than the others. Time will tell if it can produce under these greenhouse conditions.
Yield to date is 3 1/2 cupfuls of shelled beans. I'm thrilled just by the fact that I'm getting my our homegrown limas to eat. I'll be getting a lot more because the Dixie Speckled Butterpea plants are still loaded with pods. So are the Jackson Wonder beans, although I can't confirm yet that there are maturing beans in those pods.