This year I decided to grow an heirloom climbing summer squash called Trombetta di Albenga. My friend grew it last summer and quickly sautéed it for dinner one night when I was at her house and it was delicious! The best part about this squash is that it is seedless and firm so it doesn’t get watery or mushy like Black Beauty zucchini.
I knew this was going to be a big plant and because my space is limited I decided to train the squash up the grounding cable to the power pole in my backyard. These cables are pretty ugly so why not cover them with a beautiful edible plant! So the other day I noticed that the squash vine wasn’t going up the cable anymore so I decided to help it out by clipping it back up. Well there was a good reason why it wasn’t growing upwards anymore because hidden behind the tomato plant I found this monster…
That’s right folks. Unbeknownst to me, this giant squash was quietly growing. I’m not sure the picture does it justice. This thing weighed in at 8 and a 1/2 pounds! It is 3 feet tall. This thing is the size of a toddler.
You are supposed to pick the fruit when they are about 10 to 12 inches like this squash below. Even this one we have been trying to eat all week and I have been putting it in miso soup, and sautéing it with some olive oil and salt and pepper. I even sliced it thin to put on pizza. Even though we have been eating this one squash all week we still have about a fourth of the squash left! What is great is that the squash keeps well in the refrigerator and still hasn’t gone mushy on us at all.
This is what the plant looked like on June 6 when I transplanted it into the ground. I transplanted two just to be safe but only one survived the transplant. I dug a pretty sizable hole when I planted them and added lots of my compost into the hole upon planting. Squash are vigorous growers so rich compost is best for their growth.
This is what the plant looked like in mid July growing up the power cable.
Here is what it looked like in late July when some squash finally started to form. And this is what the plant looks like today. There is one main branch climbing up the pole and two secondary branches going different directions onto the patio. The main branch actually has gone all the way to the back fence but fell down into the elderberry bush from the weight of the monster squash. I also interplanted some beans but they have yet to produce beans for me. In my opinion this squash is by far my most favorite. Even though this is a huge plant, the fact that it can climb is a huge plus in my small garden. You generally need a lot of room for squashes so this allows me to have my squash while still working in a small space. I planted some Black Beauty zucchini in the front yard as well but it only produced a few zucchini for me and then the plant completely fizzled in some of our hotter days of summer. I think next year I may forgo the Black Beauty and just plant more of the Trombetta!