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How to tell when decorative 'Patty Pan' type squash is mature

Posted by julia42 9a (My Page) on
Fri, May 25, 12 at 18:43

I'm trying to save seeds from a squash plant which I grew from the "Patisson Strie Melange" seed mixture sold by Baker Creek Seeds. I Don't know the names of any of the squash in the mixture, so I'm having trouble figuring out how long I should wait for the squash to mature on the vine, so I was hoping for some advice. It's a large warty, decorative scallop squash. It's been full size for a while now (at least 2 weeks) and the skin has become fairly hard. If I push my fingernail into it, it makes a marks but doesn't really leave much of an indention. If I tried *really* hard, I could probably puncture it. Also, I'm noticing that the edge of the tendril connecting it to the vine is starting to turn yellow.

However, the colors are nothing like what the squashes in the Bakers Creek catalogue looks like. Mostly it's just creamy whitish with very pale yellow stripes. Does anyone know if I should be waiting for deeper coloration to indicate maturity? In the reviews a lot of people said their squashes never got bold stripes. I'm just trying to figure out if it's done.

Here is a link that might be useful: Patisson Strie Melange

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RE: How to tell when decorative 'Patty Pan' type squash is mature

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Sun, May 27, 12 at 22:36

It sounds as if it is almost ripe enough. The skin should get very hard and not be able to get dented. The stem changing does indicate that it is almost ripe.
Once it is ripe, cut it from the plant and then let is sit inside for about a month. This will help the seeds have a better germination rate.
Just an FYI for anyone reading this, those squash are Cucurbita pepo variety. They will readily cross with any other C. pepo variety grown close by which will result in off fruit from saved seed. Other C. pepo varieties include zucchini, yellow summer squash, spaghetti, some pumpkins, and little ornamental gourds.

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