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 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.
More veg content:
Find out how to grow patty pan squashes, below.
You Will Need
- Patty pan squash seed
- 9cm pots
- Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
- A propagator or plastic bag
- Organic matter
- A bell cloche
- High-potash liquid feed
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.
Tasty squash recipes to try
- Chestnut, squash and sweet potato loaf (vegan)
- Chickpea and squash coconut curry (vegetarian)
- Kale and squash calzones (vegetarian)
- Meatball, sage and squash lasagne
- Whole baked squash with spiced couscous (vegetarian)
- Lamb dhansak