Boy howdy(!) will Trombocino climb! And you'll love it, too!
(For more info and pics see my article in the Article Forum.)
Cucumbers will pretty much climb on their own but squash (other than Trombocino) doesn't actually seek out and grab a hold like cuke vines do. If you help to guide them onto the trellis you can get zucchini plants to grow upright though. I once had a zucchini plant grow about 5 ft tall on a tomato stake. (I tied the vine up like you tie a tomato plant.)
Thanks Shoe- I haven't even been to the articles yet.(only a six month subscriber here) I will look. I did read PF about it, you probably had one of the rave reviews there too. Just cross fingers I can keep the squash bugs/cuke beetles under control. I skipped all the squash type stuff last year because they were SO bad in 2005.
sallyg...I had great success with Trombocino and very little attacks from bugs...never saw a single cuke beetle on them and very few squash bugs (and the few that were attracted to it came after my other squash plants bit the dust).
I think my garden is like yours...I can only grow other types of squash for a "short season"..in other words I get a small harvest then the bugs take over. (However, sometimes I put out a few plants later in the year for a second crop, hoping the squash bugs have given up!)
Here is a direct link to the article I mentioned above. Although it is also on our DG "Articles" forum I think it looks much better (and easier to read) at this link: http://gardens.com/learn/article/16/
Thanks, Shoe! (you all should check out the picture at the end of that article)
I'm really looking forward to the Tromboncino now .
Squash bugs really loved my gourds the most. Cuke beetles loved the cukes, and amaranth. I did well with a yellow summer squash, until the borers got to it, Despite trying to put dirt on the stems for more rooting. Winter squash hasn't done well for me, but pumpkins have been OK.
Butternut squash would be good for you as the borers are not attracted to the hard stems of that one, unlike the hollow stems of many other squash. Plus butternut is a great storage squash! yay!
I used amaranth (Love Lies Bleeding) one year as a trap crop for cuke beetles. I had cuke plants growing all around it and the cuke beetles pretty much stayed on the amaranth quite a long time, leaving the cukes alone UNTILL the amaranth lost its health, became nearly defoliated, and then the beetles finally found my cuke plants attractive.
Moral of the story...use Amaranth as a trap crop but know when to either zap the beetles with something (soap spray? Neem oil, maybe?) and then pull up the amaranth, carrying away any eggs along with it. Perhaps that'll help the cuke plants to continue on with far fewer beetles in the neighborhood, eh?
sigh- maybe I'll make a nice good composty hill and try the butternut again. That's my favorite winter squash.
This, after I get another piece of fence to keep the groundhogs out...
I might put the cukes in a pot up on the deck and Really try to fool the cuke beetles. I swear, they saw me Look at them on the amaranth and took off. so hard to hit. If my amaranth self sows I'll really try to keep an eye on it and spray early- I can see me out there sneaking up on the little amaranth with a big net and throwing it over to trap the beetles, and then spraying them...
Hey- do you think flea beetles or cuke beetles are the thing eating my swiss chard? I always get it riddled with holes, a lot like the holes in the amaranth from the cuke beetles. and can never find the culprit.
From what I understand, ground hog (we call them "whistle pigs" here) go great in a baking pan with some butternut or sweet potatoes nestled up next to them! *grin
If you try growing cukes in a pot/container you might like some of the bush cukes as they don't throw off yards of vines but stay somewhat compact. Or, if you choose to grow your cukes in your garden beds again try Little Leaf; it is parthenocarpic (produces cukes without the need for pollination) and you can grow it non-stop with Reemay/row cover over it, keeping insects off the plant but yet still getting a crop.
As for the holes in your chard, yes, flea beetles could be the culprit and they love chard when it is small-ish but will also go for it during the hottest days of summer. If they are small hole, flea beetles; if larger holes they could be European corn borers (caterpillars) but you'd most likely see those.
To me, Lenjo, it is like both a summer and a winter squash (cus it can store fairly well if dried correctly).
If you look at the pics, the long "neck" of the squash is solid "meat"...all the seeds are down in the bulbous part at the far end. The neck can be sliced cross-wise into 'coins' for easy battering/frying or inserting on kabobs or whatever.
The taste is all it's own, to me not quite like a zuke taste or a yellow squash taste.
Well, Shoe, I went to your article and that was very enlightening. I never did see such a squash with that long of a neck. It is longer than any old swan neck gourd. On Moondance Farm do you raise enough vegetables to take to Farmer's Markets?
The trouble is with squash, one bush or vine is 1/2 too many when there are just two of us. I do try to keep hens around and they help out. I will look for the trombocino seed. I tried Farmer's Market one summer/spring with my greenhouse garden plants and I guess I didn't have the drive or interest as I did not do very well. I love going to Farmer's Markets but there are so many farm stands around that a lot of people buy their produce this way too. But here on our farm our focus is on berries and that takes any extra time I want to give especially once harvest begins.
Yep, white patty pans. I like the white ones over the yellow ones cause they can get to a bigger size before they start to turn "pithy", like a large yellow patty pan does.
As for my favorite way to eat 'em!:
Patty Pan Squash (Scallop Squash)
Use the squash(s) that most resemble a bowl. (You can cook quite a few of these at a time. It’s up to the size of your steamer pot and skillet.)
Cut the very top off.
Scoop out the innards of the bottom part with a spoon creating your bowl.
Put the top and the hollowed out “bowl” in a steamer basket and start cooking.
While it’s cooking…
Sautee some fresh onions and several cloves of smashed garlic in a bit of olive oil. When onions are translucent add squash innards. Cook until tender but NOT overcooked (overcooking turns them mushy and turning into nothingness)!
The onions/garlic/innards should be done about the same time as the “bowls and tops”.
Remove the bowls, gently, and place on plate or serving platter. Fill with the sautéed goodies and a dab of butter (if you like butter). Also, if you like, you can top with grated cheese. Put the tops on to hold in the heat and help the cheese melt.
This dish makes a great presentation and is delicious! Eat hearty, bowl and all!
(Psst!…I like to add a little salt to mine but will leave that choice up to the diners, they can add it at the table if they choose.)
Pic below shows the finished product, resting next to some sautee'd Swiss Chard. Yummy!
I adore Trombocino and it always survives my awful squash and cucumber beetles. To me, it's got a much firmer texture and the flavor is almost nuttier than regular summer squash. I'd never be without it and that goes even if I could grow any squash I wanted to. I do find that the cucumber beetles are not as attracted to my Diva cucumber as they are to the other kinds I grow. I was successful one year growing it on my front porch(I trained it up the columns) away from my other vegies. I'd go out each morning with a cup of coffee and a cup of soapy water to flick the bugs into. :-D It was a lot easier to see them and there were never as many.
This year, I'm going to try keeping my plant covered with row cover fabric until they flower. This sounds kind of cumberson to me since I grow everything up a trellis but I'm keeping my fingers crossed it works.