Fruit can be harvested 45 to 60 days after planting. Harvest the fruit when they are about 5-7cm in diameter by cutting the stalk, will store well in a refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days, possibly up to a week.
Patty Pan Overview
The Patty Pan is a summer squash, coming in yellow, green, and white varieties. It is best eaten when still relatively immature, 5-7 cm in diameter. The flesh is much lighter than winter squashes like butternut, but still extremely healthy. They are a good source of magnesium, niacin, and vitamins A and C.
Common problems with Patty Pan
Susceptible to pumpkin fruit fly, cucumber beetles, squash vine borers and powdery mildew. Provide good air flow through the plants leaves and pick off the beetles when seen. Annual crop rotation and removal of dead plant debris at the end of the growing season can help to minimize insect and disease problems.
Patty Pan Companion Plants
Some vegetables interplanted with your summer squash can repel these pests. Radishes, repel squash vine borers and cucumber beetles, while garlic repels aphids. Planting your squash at the base of maize plants can "disorients" the squash vine borer. Radishes attract flea beetles to their foliage and away from your summer squash. Summer squash benefit from being planted with any type of bean or pea, as these fix nitrogen into the soil, which is taken up by the squash roots. Squash is often planted with beans and maize as part of a traditional "three sisters" garden. Maize provides a support for climbing beans, squash, with its prickly leaves, keeps mammal predators away from developing maize, and beans provide nitrogen to both plants. Maize also has the benefit of producing a lot of pollen, which attracts more bees to pollinate your squash blossoms. Borage, an annual herb, attracts bees for pollination, and its leaves can be mulched around the squash plant to help put calcium back into the soil to prevent the calcium deficiency that causes blossom-end rot. Sink a pot of mint near your squash plants to draw away aphids. Seed orange and yellow nasturtiums around squash and throughout your garden as they draw away aphids, cucumber beetles and whiteflies, among many other pests. As a bonus, the blossoms are edible, with a sharp radishlike taste. Dill is also a good companion to squash as the herb is said to repel squash bugs as well as aphids and whiteflies.
How to propagate Patty Pan
Sow seeds in situ in spring after the last frost date. Plant about 2 cm deep, angle the pips to allow water to drain. It takes 7 to10 days to germinate.
Special features of Patty Pan
Plant one plant per 20 liter container, water frequently to prevent fruit from heat stress that will lead to becoming bitter.
Attracts useful insects
Bees are needed to pollinate the flowers.
Summer squash are heavy feeders, follow with legumes.
Other uses of Patty Pan
The fruit, flowers and seeds are edible. They can be eaten raw or used in cooking and baking.