Favorite Summer Squash!

Skybird - z5, Denver, ColoradoOctober 16, 2007

Alright, Digit! I dare you to tell me these two are exactly the same thing! I double dare ya!

After three years of finally being able to do some halfway decent veggie gardening, IÂve decided on the two summer squash that seem to consistently do well for me.

The first, my favorite, is ÂSunburst (Harris Â06). ItÂs a gold scalloped pattypan type, and even when it gets BIG, the seeds stay small and tender. This is my best producer, and once it finally gets going, IÂm not inundated, but I get plenty for me and some to give away.

And the second is another gold one. ItÂs ÂGold Rush (Pinetree Â05), a regular zucchini shaped one. This one, too, can get HUGE and still not get big seeds. When I got back from my vacation, I found one that was nearly a foot long and more than 2" in diameter, and I almost threw it on the compost pile, but then decided to take it in and cut it open first to see how bad the seeds wereÂand they were still tiny. I ate the whole thingÂno, not all at the same time! This one doesnÂt produce as well as ÂSunburstÂ, but it does well enough to make it a keeper.

I also have been planting a hill of regular green zucchini every yearÂand have never gotten more than one or two zukes from itÂthis year none! So that oneÂs out for next year!

And the other one IÂve been planting is a white patty pan (ÂEarly White BushÂ), which also doesnÂt produce enough to make it worth growing again---only got one this year!

IÂm not sure why I donÂt get that many summer squash, but IÂm starting to suspect it may be because my veggie garden is right against the east side of the house, so it only gets sun up until noonish. Everything else seems to be doing fine there, but maybe summer squash needs more sun than thatÂbutÂI ALWAYS get heaps and piles of blossoms (and there are plenty of bees), but I just never get that many squash actually developing.

Anyway, those are the two varieties I plan to grow next year. What are your favorites?

Skybird

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cnetter(z5 Co)

I'll be using the Liberty Garden (cheap) crook neck and straight neck squash again. While these seeds are cheap, they seem to be much better quality than those cheap seeds at Walgreens or whatever. The squash quickly get big and the seeds do get big fast, so I have to keep on top of them. But I'm thinking that maybe they are powdery mildew resistant since I don't get mildew like a lot of folks do. And they are very very productive. Not only does the family get sick of them, the chickens do too. While they slow down when the weather cools off, I still get squash up until the plants are frozen.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 10:53AM
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digit(ID/WA)

I have a strange relationship with Summer Squash - since they were one of the very few vegetables I didn't like growing up. I am slowly, slowly learning to appreciate their taste - starting with Zucchini Bread - "life's uncertain, eat dessert first!"

What I've always liked about them are their colors and what could be a cuter vegetable than a patty pan? Quick and fairly easy to grow, the plants are dramatic and attractive, don't you think? And, yes Skybird, any annual fruit-bearing plant of that size probably requires full sun.

Aristocrat zucchini has been a standard but we planted a little too early this year and it didn't come up so I relied on a totally new-for-me variety - Elite. One thing I was hoping for was some resistance to powdery mildew - which I later learned it has since it wasn't slowed down at all this year.

Starting off, Elite was a tiny plant and I was seriously questioning the value of this variety. It came thru however but never got very productive. Don't know what I'll do next year. Won't ever grow Black Beauty again - mildew loves it! So, maybe it's back to Aristocrat.

I've grown other Summer squash off and on, including ON with crookneck planted late in 2007. Think it was Ferry Morse Yellow Summer Crookneck but it wasn't a fair trail since I planted them so late. Late planting seems to do the job for healthy plants but when I only managed to cut 1 or 2 fruits from each - can't say much about the varieties. Must get the seed in the ground by the 4th of July - must.

You should know that as far as PM resistance goes  yellow squashes have it more often than greens. Or, at least, that seems to be what the literature indicates - donÂt know why that is. What's with this zucchini with the ridges - the slices are star-shaped when cut?

digitS'

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 12:01PM
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david52 Zone 6

Usually, all I need to do for a huge supply of summer squash is leave my car unlocked when I visit neighbors.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

LOL, David! That wouldnÂt work for me, Âcause IÂm the one that supplies my neighbors with the farm fresh produceÂnot the other way around. But luckily it doesnÂt need to even go in the car! It mostly goes over the top of the fence! And the cukes I just flip over the top of the fence when they grow that high, and let the neighbors pick whatever grows on their side.

Your last comment is interesting, Digit, because (even before I read it) I was going to post that the 'Gold Rush' has been the most consistently mildew free one of the ones I've tried. Even now, while the 'Sunburst' is finally covered with it, the 'Gold Rush', which is right next to it, is still without mildew, except where the leaves are actually laying against the ÂSunburst (my squash area is TINY!)

If squash is one of the things you sell, you should try it. ItÂs a wonderful deep gold color, and is smooth and round. No stars here! (IÂve always wondered about the ridges myself! Never seen any star shaped ones! But I do love the patty pans!)

Skybird

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 12:51PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

I switched to yellow squash from green zucchini because it was easier to find them in the garden before they got huge. Nice to know there are other good reasons to grow them.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 3:01PM
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aliceg8(CO 5)

Well, I wish I could add something useful, but when I went to look at the tag of my nursery bought zucchini, it just said "zucchini"! But it did produce really well, in fact as I was out there rummaging around, looking for the tag, I noticed that not only is it still blooming, but there's another baby starting up! The plants are half dead from mildew and cold damage, so I guess this is a pretty tough variety - whatever it is!

I'm realizing now, that not only should my little gardening database contain planting dates, but I should enter something for the nursery bought stuff - where I got it, when, and when planted. Is it next year yet?!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 3:41PM
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singcharlene(Zone 5)

Alice, I am guilty of not keeping track of nursery transplants too.

I grew three plants this year. Two unknown varieties of standard green zucchini and one 'Gold Bar?' yellow squash. I picked my last three just before last weekend but the plants are history now with the frost we got last weekend.

As of right now, I'm not going to grow it next year (except for maybe the scalloped patty pan variety that I haven't had in a few years). Ask me again in the spring and the taste of grilled zuchinni with olive oil and garlic may sound appealing again.

I definitely prefer them when they are just barely ripe and tender. Baby squash I guess you could call it. But it's hard to keep up and pick before they are garantuan!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 2:07AM
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