This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

my favorite summer squash - sunburst patty pan

sunburst squash
sunburst squash 2 sunburst squash 3

This is my favorite summer squash. Sunburst. A yellow patty pan. Its delicious. And this year is producing a very heavy harvest. I have two nice plants and am able to pick almost a squash a day. Like zucchini, I have to keep an eye on them or they'll turn into giants.

Someone asked me recently about the difference between male and female flowers and the lower photos show both pretty well. I bet anyone can figure out which is which. (Hint: females have a squash below the flower.) The photos don't have the best focus because the mosquitoes were so bad last night. I'm still itchy.



Blogger Reen said...

What a beautiful little squash. I want you to know that I follow your blog daily. I have my own little veggie garden in my yard. I have not yet started my own gardening blog but hoping to soon. You are a great inspiration!

August 04, 2009 8:22 PM

Blogger Jamie said...

I concur with the above poster (Reen). I follow you daily, as I am in the next town over (Cambridge). I am so inspired with the amount of produce you grow in your 2 gardens; truly an inspiration!

I do have a question...have you ever had squash plants full of female, yet no male flowers? This is my current zuke situation, though it seems most posters online have the opposite problem--all males, no females.

August 04, 2009 8:25 PM

Blogger Michelle said...

Beautiful...I love the little baby squash...isn't it so amazing? My garden never ceases to amaze me...each day is something new and exciting. I ended up with a ton of patty pan squash...but I don't know how to prepare them! Any suggestions?

August 04, 2009 8:32 PM

Blogger Thicket Dweller said...

Very lovely!

I'm feeling a bit ill because I've lost one zucchini plant to a wilt, and now it appears that my butternut squash are on their way out, too. The inner leaves are beginning to yellow. There are *so many* butternuts growing on these beautiful plants! From what I understand, there's nothing I can do about it now, is that right?

August 04, 2009 8:47 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Michelle, I just slice and grill them. Brush with olive oil, maybe add some herbs. I tend to cook pretty simply.

Thicket Dweller, Wilting squashes are usually due to a stem borer. That's a worm that gets the stem. They are very hard to get rid of, but some times I hear of people who cut the stem open and remove the worm( or worms) and the plants does fine. Here are some photos of stem borers and a discussion at Garden Web. Here are photo of the worms and adult moths and info on spraying.

I used to have a terrible problem with these when I grew zucchini at home. The borers killed the plants fast. At my community plot, there's hardly any problem, Not til late in the season.

I used to spray the stems with Sevin every two weeks. (This is not an organic solution.) And I tried wrapping the stems with stockings or cheesecloth early in the season. Neither worked for me.

August 04, 2009 9:58 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Jamie, I had to search on line because I have never heard of too many female flowers. This UC Davis site says early curcurbit flowers are often all males, but in hybrid summer squash early flowers can be all females.

And this site says the ratio of male to female flowers varies with the type of squash squash and that flower sex is also influenced by temperature, seasonal day length, plant maturity and hormones.

Who knew it!

August 04, 2009 10:13 PM

Blogger TSannie said...

I've never cooked them. Have any recipe suggestions?

August 04, 2009 10:47 PM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

This is my first year growing cantaloupe, and everything else had set fruit but the cantaloupe was just sitting there in full flower, with bees doing their thing.

So I read on the web that normally cantaloupes have all male flowers first, which mine seemed to be from the photos, and then the female flowers later. I didn't check on them for about a week due to heavy rain and then there were two cantaloupes the size of softballs.

p.s. I can't remember if I mentioned this, but when viewing your blog with Firefox, the comments section comes up as a little non-expandable window. Some blogger sites do that and some come up as a full page...

August 05, 2009 10:33 AM

Blogger Michael said...

My patty pan's are pretty heavy this year too. My trombetta won't fruit for some odd reason. And I tried a Round Zucchini which is giving me one softball sized squash a week. very tasty indeed!

August 05, 2009 1:27 PM

Anonymous Lisa A. said...

Don't forget dessert! Squash can become pretty much go into anything and absorb its flavor. A zucchini cake sounds fantastic right now.

August 05, 2009 1:28 PM

Blogger kathy said...

TSannie, I added the above post for you.

Karen Anne, Sorry about the formatting problem. Its hard when different browsers work differently. I use Firefox too. I often forget to check Explorer when I make formatting changes.

For me with Explorer or Firefox the comments pop up in an expandable window. Do you have an updated version? I have version 3.0.13. I wonder if lots of viewers have this problem?

August 05, 2009 1:31 PM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

Oops, you're right, the window is expandable. I am so used to the little comments windows some blogs have not being expandable, I missed that, thanks.

August 05, 2009 5:35 PM

Blogger libraryflower said...

I love these sunburst squash too. I have two plants in my garden and they are doing so well! I live about 3 miles from the beach and usually I get a lot of powdery mildew on the squash leaves. This year I decided to start the squash late, and I planted them on June 12 - they have very little powdery mildew. I try to wash the leaves off. I didn't even know they were the patty-pan type when I planted them - it was such a great surprise. You are right - they taste wonderful grilled. I'll have to try the sliced beets grilled too.

August 12, 2009 1:45 PM


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