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Old July 25, 2016   #1
gorbelly
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Default Trombone squash harvest size as summer squash

After a late sowing, I'm starting to get full-on flowering on my tromba d'Albenga squash. I've read around that people recommend harvesting it if growing for use as summer squash when it's in the foot-long range. Really? The unfertilized fruit part of the female flower buds is already over around 7 inches long even before it blooms! If you've grown this before, at what size do you harvest it?
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Old July 25, 2016   #2
jmsieglaff
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After a late sowing, I'm starting to get full-on flowering on my tromba d'Albenga squash. I've read around that people recommend harvesting it if growing for use as summer squash when it's in the foot-long range. Really? The unfertilized fruit part of the female flower buds is already over around 7 inches long even before it blooms! If you've grown this before, at what size do you harvest it?
I've grown it for summers squash use, the only reason I don't anymore is the production was much too small.

I would harvest anywhere 1-2' long. If the bulb has too many seeds just scoop them out, the long neck is seed free. It was a tasty summer squash, but again it didn't produce very much, even with manual pollination.
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Old July 25, 2016   #3
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This year was the first time I grew the squash and I picked 4 or 5 at about 18" long and they were great as a summer squash. I left 4 on the vines to mature and they were in the neighborhood of about 36" long and I left them on the vines until they turned a tan color. I have them curing and will see how long they last and how they taste as a winter squash. I don't know if I will ever grow them again as they take up a lot of room in a small garden for the amount they produce.
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Old July 25, 2016   #4
gorbelly
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It was a tasty summer squash, but again it didn't produce very much, even with manual pollination.
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This year was the first time I grew the squash and I picked 4 or 5 at about 18" long and they were great as a summer squash. I left 4 on the vines to mature and they were in the neighborhood of about 36" long and I left them on the vines until they turned a tan color. I have them curing and will see how long they last and how they taste as a winter squash. I don't know if I will ever grow them again as they take up a lot of room in a small garden for the amount they produce.
I have 2 plants, and given the number of female buds I'm seeing (3 on one and 2 on the other which are getting big and look unlikely to drop and several more in the tiny stage which may or may not make it to blooming) and the size--I'm still kind of aghast at buds that have protofruit longer than my hand even before the flowers bloom!--I'm a bit concerned about having too much squash. However, whistech, it's true that the vines look like they're going to get absolutely gigantic (the one in my beds is going to be a real headache, as it's already completely swallowed up a large trellis), and it did take them a long time to start producing female buds. Also, maybe more buds will abort than I think. I don't really know how to gauge that probability. With my black futsu, I can tell pretty early when a female bud isn't going to make it to flowering, but I'm just not as familiar with the tromboncino varieties.

Thank you both for the feedback on size. 18" or 1-2' range sounds a bit more reasonable, but my first one is out there, blossom still hasn't fallen off (it has stopped opening and is obviously pollinated given its sudden increase in size but the bloom part isn't even really shriveling yet), and it's already about 16" long. Yesterday, it was under a foot long at the end of the day. The neck is still only about an inch in diameter, though, so maybe I should wait until that gets thicker and go less by length than by girth? (Oh, my, gardening is not for the prudish). If I pick it now, It'll be like I'm eating a barely pollinated albeit hyooge bud.

An odd plant, but I love the beautiful, gigantic, variegated leaves. So far no signs of powdery mildew, even though black futsu is definitely affected by it. I look forward to tasting it!
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Old July 28, 2016   #5
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Picked my first at 2 feet. It was very good-firmer and a bit more grainy than zukes. Good flavor. I actually think it would have tasted just as good if I'd left it to grow a bit more. It was only on the vine for 2 days after pollination.

As for productivity, I don't know, guys--I have 4 squash that set in as many days on one vine. The other vine was sown a little later, but it has no shortage of female buds on it. And if the older vine is any indication, almost all of those are going to reach flowering, and so far 100% of those that have been pollinated (I hand pollinate as insurance) are growing rapidly and are obviously viable and developing. I'm actually a bit concerned about having too much squash.
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Old July 28, 2016   #6
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Originally Posted by whistech View Post
This year was the first time I grew the squash and I picked 4 or 5 at about 18" long and they were great as a summer squash. I left 4 on the vines to mature and they were in the neighborhood of about 36" long and I left them on the vines until they turned a tan color. I have them curing and will see how long they last and how they taste as a winter squash. I don't know if I will ever grow them again as they take up a lot of room in a small garden for the amount they produce.
I'll be curious to your comments on it as a winter squash. I also let some mature, we also grew butternuts that year. To my tastes I thought it wasn't bad, but not great as a winter squash--more watery and stringy than the butternut. I do enjoy the flavor and texture quite a bit as a summer squash.

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Picked my first at 2 feet. It was very good-firmer and a bit more grainy than zukes. Good flavor. I actually think it would have tasted just as good if I'd left it to grow a bit more. It was only on the vine for 2 days after pollination.

As for productivity, I don't know, guys--I have 4 squash that set in as many days on one vine. The other vine was sown a little later, but it has no shortage of female buds on it. And if the older vine is any indication, almost all of those are going to reach flowering, and so far 100% of those that have been pollinated (I hand pollinate as insurance) are growing rapidly and are obviously viable and developing. I'm actually a bit concerned about having too much squash.
What was your seed source? I had problems with female blossoms dropping even with manual pollination. I wanted to use it in a cross pollination project but because it is C. Moschata it is not practical for a home gardener to cross it with C. Pepo varieties.
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Old July 28, 2016   #7
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What was your seed source? I had problems with female blossoms dropping even with manual pollination. I wanted to use it in a cross pollination project but because it is C. Moschata it is not practical for a home gardener to cross it with C. Pepo varieties.
I grew Zuchetta Tromba d'Albenga from Franchi.

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Old July 28, 2016   #8
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I also let some mature for winter squash (and seed). Great keeper, OK taste; in fact earlier today I happened to pull a package out of the freezer for dinner tonight.
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Old August 20, 2016   #9
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I've started letting them get a little more mature before picking. They don't get much longer than 2 feet, but I let the neck thicken up to about an inch and a half in diameter and I let the skin go a little dull, though it's not leathery or thick yet. I think they have a more robust flavor at this stage but are still solidly in summer squash territory as far as texture and flavor profile go.
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Old October 9, 2016   #10
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FYI, although I pulled one plant a couple weeks back (bad spot, not enough space/air circulation, too much powdery mildew), the one that is growing up my garage wall onto the roof where it still gets a lot of sun is STILL setting fruit. Just for kicks I have 2 huge, old ones on there that I'm letting get to as close to mature as I can get them just to see how they taste as winter squash (I have low expectations and am just curious and like squash enough that even mediocre winter squash is quite edible to me) but I have two young ones I'm picking tomorrow and about three more buds that look like they're going to pollinate and set.

I cannot recommend the Franchi seed enough for this variety, especially to those of you who had complaints about production when you tried them.
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