Small squash - vegetables that are great for stewing and frying, and for cooking for the winter. They are stored as well as pumpkin. Previously, squash varieties had only white skin and pulp, regular shape with small waves along the edge. Today you can buy early varieties with orange peels and a variety of shapes.
Varieties of squash are:
- early crops from which it is harvested 40-50 days after the first seedlings;
- mid-season, giving a harvest in 50-60 days;
- late squash with a harvest of 60-70 days.
Beautiful fruits of different colors are tasty and healthy. Doctors recommend eating this vegetable to those who suffer from hypertension, diseases of blood vessels, kidneys.
Popular varieties of small squash
Crop varieties of small squash:
- Grade White 13 - the best for open ground. Pumpkins of this species have a mild segmentation. They resemble zucchini to taste, the flesh is not so sweet, and the skin is shiny. Fruits weigh from 300 g to 500 g. For a full season, from a bush you can collect almost 4 kg of delicious and healthy squash.
- Another early ripe hybrid is Polo F1. The bushes grow compact, young fruits are distinguished by a light green skin. After they mature, the color turns white. Fruits weigh from 300 to 400 g. The squash pulp is very tasty and suitable for both canning and for preparing various dietary dishes. The variety gives a consistently high yield, it is resistant to many diseases. It can safely be acquired by beginners who do not yet have experience in growing vegetables.
- Patisson Disc - early variety, can be harvested 53 days after germination. Fruits, as they ripen, change color from greenish to white. The shape of the squash resembles a bell. Ripe squash has a weight of up to 350 g. Ripe fruits can be stored in appropriate conditions until mid-winter. Young ovaries under the age of 5 days are recommended for canning.
- Squash variety Sun mid-season, so you can harvest in 58-70 days after germination. The bush grows compact with an ovary of yellow-orange color, it becomes much brighter as it ripens. Variety Sun can be attributed to mini-squash, as their weight is only 250-350 g. This instance is characterized by high productivity and resistance to various diseases. The pulp is tasty, therefore suitable for both canning and summer salads. Ripe fruits are well stored.
- Another universal variety - UFO White. Belongs to mid-season, the fruits have a rounded toothed edge and look like bells. Ripe squash reaches a weight of 0.5 kg. As they ripen, the color of the fruit changes. Unripe pumpkins are very light, but their skin hardens over time. If the diameter of the fruit is smaller than 8 cm, the flesh has a sweetish taste, the seeds are not felt.
- One of the earliest instances - UFO Orange. The ripening period does not exceed 40-45 days. On one bush, up to 30 fruits ripen with a weight of up to 0.5 kg. Fruits are slightly pronounced, orange glossy skin is present. The pulp is white in color, very tasty. This variety is universal and is used for canning, stewing, frying, stuffing.
- Hybrid Sunny Bunny F1 refers to early ripening. It has a consistently high yield; on one specimen, up to 20 pumpkins can ripen simultaneously. This variety can also be classified as mini, the weight of ripe fruits is only 150-200 g. The pulp is dense, tasty, light orange or cream. The hybrid is resistant to powdery mildew and other diseases.
- Squash hybrid Watermelon F1 looks like a watermelon. The fruits are disc-shaped, which becomes rounder as they ripen. Belongs to mid-ripening varieties with the weight of ripe fruits up to 450 g.
- Delicacy hybrid Chartreuse F1 has a high yield and early ripening. The ripened fruits are green and dark. Young squash with delicious soft greenish flesh, in mature it is much lighter. If the ovaries are up to 3 cm, they are excellent to use in salads, larger ones are suitable for cooking almost any vegetable dishes.
- Gosh - squash with large and strong bushes. The weight of dark green fruits reaches 300 g. When preserved, the dense consistency characteristic of these fruits is preserved. The variety is characterized by consistently high productivity and resistance to rot and disease.
The specifics of sowing small squash
When sowing, it is best to use seeds that are no more than 3 years old. If the seeds are fresh, they must be warmed up for several days. In order for them to ascend faster, they are soaked in a solution of boric acid for several days, washed with water and dried. When the first leaf appears, 1 plant is left in the hole. If the bushes are too thick, you need to cut a few sheets for good ventilation and bees access to flowers.
For preservation and desserts, small fruits are collected up to 7 cm in diameter. For cooking dishes and salads - up to 12 cm.
All the time of growth and harvesting the bushes need to be fed and watered.
The rules for caring for squash are similar to those that apply to zucchini, only the earth around the bushes needs to be loosened more often. Top dressing under plants is applied only 3 times. The first time after the first shoots appeared. The second and third time - after the appearance of the first ovaries. In order to prevent burns on the leaves, they need to be watered with clean water after top dressing.
How to preserve squash
Harvest squash must be regularly, about 2-3 times a week, after they reach the desired diameter up to 12 cm. Cut squash with the stalk and immediately process it. Fruits are suitable for storage after full ripening. Many owners make a common mistake - do not remove part of the leaves from too thick bushes. Leaf thickening leads to lower yields, as there is no adequate ventilation.
Patisson is an excellent vegetable for preparing dietary dishes; it is suitable for everyday and festive menus.