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Patty pan squash seed
A propagator or plastic bag
A bell cloche
High-potash liquid feed
If you love eating courgettes and butternut squash, but fancy trying something a little different, why not grow patty pan squashes? They're surprisingly easy to grow, despite their exotic appearance.
Patty pan squash can be raised from seed in May, to be planted out once frosts have passed, usually in late May or early June. Young plants may need extra protection on cold nights, so have bell cloches or fleece to hand, just in case cool weather is forecast.
You'll get the heaviest crops when growing in a sunny, sheltered spot, but plenty of moisture and a well-fed soil are also essential. Improve the soil by digging in lots of well-rotted manure, your own garden compost or a proprietary soil improver. This is especially important in a dry year, as it helps the soil hold on to extra water for the plants to use.
Fill 9cm pots with good quality multi-purpose compost and sow two seeds per pot. Water well, then put the pots in a propagator or plastic bag and germinate on a sunny windowsill.
Fork plenty of bulky organic matter into the soil, improving an area at least 50cm square and 30cm deep where each plant will grow. Re-firm the soil afterwards.
Thin out to leave the strongest seedling and plant it out after the last frost. Create a shallow depression in the soil around each plant, to direct water to the roots. Cover plants with a bell cloche on cold nights or windy days.
Keep soil moist by watering around the plant, taking care not to wet the foliage and flowers. Feed every fortnight with a high-potash liquid feed once the flowers appear. Harvest squash regularly, right up until the first frosts.
24/05/2014 at 13:10
I grew Patty Green Tint last year on my allotment. It was very easy to grow and very prolific. I planted it outside, watered occaisionally and fed with chicken manure pellets.