Tromboncino Summer Squash
There are several reasons to grow this lovely swan-necked squash. The flavor and texture are wonderful--fine-grained, never soggy, with a buttery richness that others don't have. It is a different species from other summer squash, Cucurbita moschata instead of C pepo. That is a boon for seed savers who don't want their summer squash to cross with their pumpkins. And anywhere vine borers are a problem, this is the best option for a summer squash that stays healthy all summer. I recommend these for the South, where borers are a plague.
In the kitchen, I like the long seedless necks for slicing and the bulbed seed cavity at the end for stuffing. And I also like their flavor as a winter squash when fully mature. (They mature to an even tan, like a butternut.) It's other name is Zucchini Rampicante. It's a vine, so plant it on the edge of the garden where it can roam, or put it on a trellis or fence. 60 days for summer squash; 90 days for winter squash. 20 seeds
After the sprouts are a few inches tall, thin to the best 3 plants per hill. Hoe out all the weeds in the bed or row, piling some dirt at the base of the plants. Then if you put down mulch, it will prevent weeds and keep the squash off of damp soil. If squash bugs are a problem for you, sprinkle well with diatom dust.
Summer squash should be picked every day or two, and eaten while small (6"-8".) The reason people complain about having too many zucchini is that they let them get too big. Store squash in a dry place. Even zucchini keeps better in a dry airy room than in the fridge, where it molds.
Winter squash is ripe when there is no green left in the stem--it should be hard and woody or corky--and the skin should be too hard to poke with a fingernail. Regardless of ripeness, harvest before frost or they will rot. Use any unripe or bruised ones first. The rest should be put indoors to cure for a month before eating. This makes them much sweeter. Handle them gently and wipe if needed but don't wash. They can be stored in any dry place that stays above 50 degrees. Check often for soft spots, and don't forget to use them for soups and pasta as well as roasted and in pie.
Seed saving: Insect-pollinated, requires at least 500 ft isolation in home gardens (1/2 mile if selling seed.) Our offerings include 3 species: Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin, delicatas, acorns, and most summer squash), Cucurbita maxima (Buttercup, Lower Salmon River, Stella Blue, Zapallo), and Cucurbita moschata (Butternut, Tromboncino.) Members of the same species will cross with each other, but not with other species. So if you have the isolation to grow squash seed, you can have one of each species and still save seed.