A summer squash, cousin of the zucchini - only with a funny-looking shape !
Common name : Patty pan
Scientific name : Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera
Family : Cucurbitaceae
Category : Veggies
Type of plant : Annual
Patty pan - or scalloped squash - is a tender summer squash, like zucchini or crookneck yellow. The flying saucer shape makes them a curiosity, and it’s a little difficult at first to figure out how to slice them, but they grow easily, cook, and eat much like any other summer squash. If you harvest them young, there's no peeling or cutting required before you cook them !
Sowing & planting
40 - 60
Identify my patty pan
Patty pan belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae, this term refers to a set of cultivars of the species Cucurbita pepo, which also includes the real pumpkin. The patty pan is not creeping, it forms a bushy tuft, on which large leaves develop. It has yellow flowers, which give the fruit that is also called patty pan!
Sow my patty pan
You can sow in open soil starting at the end of April, once the risk of frost has passed in your region, until the end of summer. Sow in seed holes (3 seeds in the same hole) 2 to 3 centimeters deep and keeping 100 cm between each seed hole. Water carefully, even spraying the substrate until sprouting. Mark the spot with a stick, this will be used for watering in a few months.
For inside seedlings, you can sow under shelter from March, avoiding the direct sun. You will avoid the stress of chasing slugs!
Sow in pans, 3 seeds per pot, on a bed of gravel or clay balls to ease drainage and prevent the roots from rotting. Add special potting soil up to 2/3 of the height of the container and tamp lightly. Then fill to top. Sow at 2-3 centimeters deep. Water gently.
Thin out my patty pan
When the plants reach 8 to 10 cm high, thinning can be considered - often after two to three weeks. Remove the supernumerary plants, or transplant them.
Plant my patty pan
Starting in the beginning of May, once there's no more risk of freezing, plant in open soil - rich and deep and sunny.
Make sure each plant has enough room - 1 m2 for each, water thoroughly after planting and for the following 2 weeks.
Mulch my patty pan
Mulch between the plants one to two weeks after the final planting, using a natural mulch which holds in moisture. This will limit evaporation from the soil, and thus the need to water and to weed.
Water my patty pan
Water the seedlings and new plantings two times a week without wetting the foliage!
During the summer, watch out for signs of dryness, particularly leaves leaning towards the ground.
Water generously, 2 or 3 times a week, and once less if you mulch, more if drought occurs.
Water the base twice daily without wetting the foliage to prevent powdery mildew.
Weed my patty pan
Weed regularly during the entire growth period, removing and renewing the mulch from time to time: you will avoid your squash some diseases!
Reap my patty pan
Squash grow very quickly!
The harvest takes place about 2 months after seeding — keep an eye on vegetable growth too, since they lose quality if they get too big.
Choose squash that are still maturing, as seeds start appearing in those that are already ripe. This makes them less enjoyable to eat.
Prune my patty pan
If you usually notice that the first fruits abort at the beginning of the season, it is because your patty pan are not yet developed enough to produce. So you can preventively cut these first fruits, to encourage your plant to develop a good rooting.
Remove my patty pan
Once the last fruit is harvested, don't forget to pull out the plants to make room for autumn plantings! Correctly remove the roots and avoid composting the remains if the foliage shows signs of disease.
Dibble my patty pan
Starting in the beginning of May, once there's no more risk of freezing and 4-6 weeks after sowing if you sown under shelter, transplant in open soil - rich and deep and sunny.
Make sure each plant has enough room - 1 m2 for each, water thoroughly after transplanting and for the following 2 weeks.
Check on my patty pan
Watch for slugs which can devour the young plant in just one night. These pests can easily be diverted from your precious vegetables by an offering of beer or flour placed away from your crops (get the cheapest, they aren't very difficult to satisfy).
Patty pan relies on the wind and bees to pollinate between the male and female flowers. Thus, if the weather is humid, and bees are rare, give them a little help. Use a brush and play matchmaker by rubbing the male flowers (that carry pollen), then transfering the pollen to the female ones.
Patty pan sensitive to powdery mildew (which develops due to excessive moisture on the leaves): this thin white film covers the leaves, like a powder.
It's a fungi which sucks up the sap to the extent of exhausting the plant, which will end up weakening itself, and in certain cases, dying.
An adequate and timely treatment is essential to stop powdery mildew, which can contaminate other Cucurbitaceae plants in your garden including squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons.
Cut off and destroy the diseased leaves as soon as powdery mildew appears — never compost them! Use pruners disinfected with 90° rubbing alcohol in advance and wipe them after each coop.
Then, spray on a solution of 5 g baking soda per liter of water with a teaspoon of soap.