We are all used to the classic elongated zucchini, reminiscent of the shape of an airship. But breeders today have created numerous varieties of zucchini with original round fruit-balls. Spherical zucchini are not yet as widespread as classic ones. Nevertheless, zucchini balls also have many advantages. I think that gardeners would be useful to learn about the differences and popular varieties of this original type. They can be successfully grown on their site along with ordinary zucchini or even instead of them.Round zucchini - a delicious alternative to traditional
What kind of round zucchini are they?
At first glance, zucchini balls seem something exotic. Although, if you think a little, the fruits of a rounded shape are more natural for this plant than elongated. Indeed, according to the botanical classification, zucchini is a type of pumpkin. And for her, as we know, it is the rounded fruits that are most characteristic (although there are many elongated varieties).
By weight, rounded zucchini, depending on the variety, ranges from absolutely crumbs - not more than 200 grams - to large balls comparable to a classic pumpkin, weighing about 7 kilograms. Their shape is most often the correct sphere (flattened and pear-shaped are found), and the colors are very different. First of all, these are various shades of yellow and orange, and rich variations of green: from pale green (almost white) to dark emerald. Often there are two-tone variations with different spots and stripes.
The flesh is pure white, cream or slightly orange. To taste, it is identical to oblong zucchini, but often more tender and sweet. Some varieties also have pleasant nutty notes. Young specimens can not be peeled and eat raw.
By the nature of growth, most varieties of round bush zucchini are related to zucchini. They form a powerful, but compact bush, so they occupy relatively little space on the bed. The leaves of spherical zucchini are almost identical to the classic squash and pumpkin, the inflorescences also have a characteristic shape and orange color for these crops.By the nature of growth, most varieties of round bush zucchini are related to zucchini.
Read also our article 8 tricks for a large crop of zucchini.
Features of harvesting round zucchini
Round zucchini is an early ripe vegetable and can be harvested on average within 45-50 days after planting. This is one of the most prolific vegetables. And the more fruits you collect from the bush, the more ovaries it will produce. Therefore, regular harvesting is very important for zucchini.
After pollination occurs, and the formation of the fetus begins, it will be ready for collection in just four to six days. Fetal size is the best indicator of readiness for harvest. It is best to pick young fruits up to 10 centimeters in diameter. This ensures that the squash is not overripe, bland, and rude. Every day, the fetus adds about 2.5 centimeters, as a result of which an ideal zucchini can turn into an overgrowth in just a couple of days.
The fully ripened fruits of spherical zucchini can also be eaten, but it will have to be cut like a pumpkin, choosing seeds from the core, and the flesh will not be so elastic and juicy. Even if the fruits are too ripe, it is recommended to remove them from the plant anyway to stimulate the appearance of new ovaries.Zucchini "Orange". Zucchini zucchini "Tondo di Tuscany" (Tondo Chiara di Toscana). Zucchini "Tondo Scuro" (Tondo Scuro Di Piacenza).
The best varieties of round zucchini
Among round zucchini there are both large-fruited weighing up to 6-7 kilograms, and portion varieties. But since it is much more convenient to use small portioned fruits in cooking, I would like to examine in more detail varieties of round zucchini of small size.
Zucchini "Orange". The most popular Russian variety of spherical zucchini. Very attractive due to its characteristic bright orange color. Many fruits also have a large dark green spot near the stalk, which makes the fruitlets even more elegant. The diameter of the fetus is 15-17 centimeters. The pulp is sweetish with a nutty flavor, can be used even fresh. Early ripening variety, ready for collection in 40-50 days. Cultivar productivity is high.
Zucchini "Tondo scuro" (Tondo scuro di piacenza) Italian variety of round zucchini. The peel has a deep dark green color with small white marks; when fully ripened, longitudinal bright yellow stripes appear on the fruits. Differs in high tastes and productivity. Fruit weight 500 grams. The pulp is light, with a pleasant sweet taste. Ripening period is 50-60 days.
Zucchini "Desi" (Desi) The earliest variety of spherical zucchini, the crop can be harvested 40 days after emergence. An additional advantage is a tangible nutty flavor of pulp. The shape of the fruit is round or pear-shaped, skin color from greenish-lemon to bright yellow. The variety is very productive and produces many fruits the size of a baseball (up to 500 grams). The pulp is dense, juicy, the color is light yellow.
Zucchini zucchini "Tondo di Tuscany" (Tondo chiara di toscana) Another popular Italian variety of bushy spherical zucchini. The fruits are bright green in color, while the peel is dotted with small bright dots and marks. From one bush of zucchini you can remove up to 40 fruits. The mass of one fruit is up to 1 kg (but as it ripens, it can reach 3 kilograms). The ripening period is 40-50 days after emergence.
Zucchini "Rondini" (Rondini) The darkest round zucchini is dark green, almost black. At the same time, the variety also ties up the smallest baby fruits, whose average size is 200 grams. In addition, the “Rondini” zucchini is distinguished by the bushy shape of the bush, which is rare for round zucchini, but the lashes are not too long and do not take up much space. Ideal for growing with children. The taste is no different from a traditional oblong zucchini. Due to the dense peel, it is well stored and suitable for decorating the kitchen interior. Late variety, about 80 days are required for ripening.Round zucchini are ideal for crafts.
Read also our article on 10 varieties and hybrids of squash, which are not afraid of diseases and the vagaries of the weather.
The benefits of round zucchini
We are accustomed to elongated zucchini and most often we prefer to grow them, since fruits of this form are easy to peel and chop. But let's look at the special advantages of spherical zucchini.
Original appearance. We all often want to grow something unusual, and round zucchini are ideal for the role of a miracle vegetable. Spherical varieties of zucchini not only has an attractive appearance, but also, certainly, will not disappoint you in taste and productivity.
Non-standard taste. Most often, the flesh of round zucchini is assessed as tender and sweet. At the same time, some varieties are distinguished by a pleasant nutty aftertaste uncharacteristic for zucchini. Due to its rich taste, such zucchini can be enjoyed raw, for example, used as an ingredient in some salads.
Ideal for stuffing. Zucchini balls have an optimal shape for using them as edible dishes. If you slightly cut the bottom, we get an original stable container, which can be very easily filled, for example, with cereals, vegetables, meat or a mixture of them and sent to the oven. Sometimes the filling is made sweet and zucchini is used as a dessert. Variations in size allow you to cook as tiny "baskets" for snacks, and full-fledged "plates".
Bush form. Most globular zucchini are of the zucchini type and will not take up much space in the garden.
Possibility of decorative use. Many varieties of round zucchini are not inferior in appearance to their pumpkin relative to their closest relative. And the small size makes it easy to place them on the kitchen shelf. In well-ripened squash, the bark hardens and can be stored for several months. Craftsmen can carve on these fruits and make real masterpieces. And the simplest thing that can be done with such a vegetable marrow is to stick “eyes” to it, which children will surely like.
And finally, I note that such important qualities of round zucchini as unpretentiousness, productivity and ease of cultivation. And in this they are in no way inferior to the traditional ones.