The Q&A Archives: Wierd Squash

Question: I purchased a package of squash seed from Burpee's catalogue this year, and cannot identify what is growing. The leaves look like zucchini, but the squash is round, large and turning orange like a pumpkin. I thought I had ordered roly poly summer squash, but it wasn't very flavorful when prepared while green. I am wondering if Burpee might have sent me Amber winter squash inadvertently. But then perhaps roly poly just isn't very flavorful and does turn orange after it starts to mature. Please advise.

Answer: Roly Poly zucchini should be harvested when it's still green, and 4-5 inches in diameter. If left on the vine the squash will become overmature, turn orange, and develop a hardened shell. It will also taste watery. Zucchini, whether long or round, has a very mild flavor - some people prefer it to other varieties - but it's a matter of personal taste. To keep your plant producing, keep the small squash harvested. If squash is allowed to become overmature, the plant will put all of its energy into developing seeds instead of growing more vine, blossoms and additional fruit.

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