Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tromboncino squash vines


Tromboncino squash are really amazing. I first tried them as a squash vine borer-resistant zucchini-like squash. Here in SC, my yellow squash and zucchini efforts have resulted in only a few fruits before the vines succumb to borers. But Tromboncino squash are tough customers-- a different species than zucchini and yellow squash, and hailing from Italy and the Mediterranean (they're actually related to winter squash, Cucurbita moschata 'Tromba d'Albenga'), they grow robust, sprawling vines that root at the nodes, and their stems are borer-resistant. Unfortunately, in the satellite garden, where I've had two years of rampant vine growth (and abundant squash production), the hungry woodchucks have been nibbling any plants I put out there to the ground. So I transplanted some fresh seedlings from my main vegetable garden, and have been training the vines on the fence.

Notice the growth in the transplanted vine along the fence in the picture above!

4 comments:

  1. I planted the albenga and it's doing great in the sunny California climate. So is the Costata di Romanesco. My mom's
    Marina di Chioggia is massive. She thought it was a summer variety, but come to find out it's actually a winter squash that produces huge pumpkin-like globes. It's just spreading its leaves and tendrils everywhere. Who knew one plant could produce so much?! I'm not sure how to cook that one, nor my albenga either. Do you know?

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  2. Hello, woof nanny--
    The tromboncino squash (Albenga) is fabulous stir-fried, roasted, or steamed when less than 8-10 inches long. If you miss one, and it's bigger than a foot long, they're not tremendously tasty, in my opinion, but are OK roasted tossed with olive oil, garlic, and herbs.

    Nab them when they're small, is my approach. Squash are truly amazing in their productivity, especially without many squash vine borers.

    I'm not sure about the Marina di Chioggia -- it definitely sounds like something to let ripen, and then bake!

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  3. I have had terrible luck with squash in my central Kentucky garden (except for butternut) because of the squash borers so these tromboncino squash sound like a they might be great. Know of any good sources for seeds? I have not heard of them before or seen them at my local garden centers. What time of year would I plant and start harvesting where I live?

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  4. Hi, Larry-
    You can get Tromboncino squash seed from Renee's, Territorial, The Cook's Garden,and various other mail order seed companies. It's sometimes called 'Zucchetta Rampicante' or 'Tromba d'Albegna.'

    It's been a great performer for me and is resistant to the borers (and it's viney enough to outgrow them, too).

    You plant them at the same time of the year as other summer and winter squashes, after your last average frost date, when the soil's warmed up.

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