Round squash? Round squash, you ask?
Why yes, I am growing some round summer squash this year, thank you for asking.
Matter of fact, I’m growing five varieties of round summer squash this year. I sowed seeds for all of them in the garden just the other day, just as soon as it warmed up a bit.
There’s ‘Cue Ball’, my first ever round squash that will forever be a part of my vegetable garden, for as long as I plant a garden and can find the seeds for it. It’s my signature squash. We go back nearly three, or maybe it is four seasons now and created a special bond last year in Horticulture magazine, June/July 2009 issue, page 16. Good times!
Then there is ‘Eight Ball’, which is a darker green than ‘Cue Ball’, but just as round, and “One Ball’, which is round and yellow.
I almost couldn’t find seeds for ‘Cue Ball’ this winter, so I also got ‘Rondo de Nice’, which looks a lot like ‘Cue Ball’ in all the pictures, but has a lovely Italian name.
And then Leslie from Growing a Garden in Davis heard that I liked round summer squash, so she sent me some seeds for ‘Tondo Scuro di Piacenza’ which I think will be a lot like ‘Eight Ball’ and go nicely with ‘Ronde de Nice’.
If we have a good squash year, and I hope we do, I could end up with a lot of squash, even though I planted just one hill of each type of round squash. I’ll do my best, Annie in Austin, to pick them while they are still small or at least only post about the small ones so you won’t see any that got too big, like some of the ‘Eight Ball’ in the picture above. The round squash varieties are best picked when small, like the one on the far right.
For all my friends who like to get some free summer squash from me, whether they like it or not, I’m also growing ‘Ambassador’. It’s a traditional type of “zucchini” summer squash that people expect you to grow in your garden, if you are growing any squash at all. I can let this squash get really big and then people will take it to grate it up and make zucchini bread.
If they don’t take it, I will leave the squash in their unlocked cars at work or on their desks when they are away for meetings.
Did you know that all these squashes have the same botanical name, Cucurbita pepo? I like how that name sounds for some reason. You can’t really say it without smiling. Try it. Cucurbita pepo.
And you can’t really think about a gardener knowingly, willingly, planting six hills of Cucurbita pepo, “zucchini squash”, whether round or not, without smiling and nodding, and thinking that perhaps she’s going just a tiny bit overboard.
Overboard? That’s for boating. In the garden, there’s no overboard. There’s just a gardener and her garden, growing a few varieties of squash, waiting for the first round squash, which she should be picking no later than July 1st.