Patty pan squash, or patisson, is a tasty and cute flat squash variety.
Key pattypan squash facts:
Latin name: Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera
Common name: patty pan, patisson
Type: vegetable plant
Height: 16 inches (40 cm)
Planting distance: 4 feet (1.20 m)
Soil: rich, loose, heavy, moist
Sowing: March, April – Planting: May – Harvest: August to November
Patty pan squash is a star-shaped, slightly domed squash that’s catches the eye in any garden! This Central American native is a dense, not-too-sweet squash with hints of artichoke flavor.
A high-yield vegetable, patty pan grows in various sizes and colors depending on the sub-variety. This is a fruit (yes, technically a fruit!) that weighs from 1 pounds to 5 pounds (500 g to 2 kg). The rind comes in a range of shades from white to greenish-yellow, orange, and even multi-colored.
Sowing patty pan squash
Start sowing patty pans in a warm setting from March to April, ideally between 65°F and 80°F (18-25°C). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also seed directly in your garden between May and June.
- Begin with pots filled half-and-half with potting soil and garden soil. For sprouting, nothing too fancy is needed.
- For direct seeding, first till your soil. Amend it with foundational nourishment like compost.
- Next, sow the patty pan seeds about ½ inch or ¾ inch deep (1 or 2 cm) in a bright spot. Just make sure your soil stays moist, but not soggy wet.
- Sprouting usually happens 4 to 10 days after sowing.
Transfer young pattypan squash plants to the open ground in May, once the last frosts have melted away.
- Plant these squash on tilled beds (prepare them with a grelinette to make it loose down to a foot deep).
- Space plants at least 4 feet (1.20 m) apart on the line and 6½ feet (2 m) between rows.
Pattypan squash in a pot:
Got a green thumb but no green yard? Plant your patisson in a pot. Just make sure it’s at least 24 inches (60 cm) in both diameter and depth. Blend potting soil, garden soil, and manure for your substrate.
Caring for your patty pan
This frost-sensitive squash craves warmth.
Depending on your area, grow it directly in the vegetable garden, or give it a space in a greenhouse. Patty pan squash thrives in rich, loose, and heavy soil and loves a sunny spot.
- Water abundantly at the base, but avoid wetting leaves!
- Mulch around your pattypan squash to keep moisture in and pesky weeds out.
Common pests and illnesses
Keep an eye out for powdery mildew on leaves, and beware of sneaky slugs and aphids!
Harvesting and storage
From August to November, it’s pattypan squash season!
Depending on your culinary dreams, you can harvest this gem at various stages of maturity: super young and still growing, or in its full-blown adult glory.
Quick tip: a younger harvest means a shorter shelf life. Store young ones in your fridge’s veggie drawer for just 3 to 5 days.
But, if patience is your game and you wait for it to mature fully, your stash will last for over 6 months! As for many vegetables, a dark, dry place does wonders for extended keeping.
What about cooking with pattypan?
Here are a few cooking tips based on how old the harvest is:
- Young and tender? Pickle it. It’ll be your new best friend with cold cuts and charcuterie.
- Still kinda young, but not too much? Treat it like zucchini. Dice it, slice it, or cut into quarters. Next, decide if you prefer pan-fried, oven-baked, or steamed.
- Now, if you’ve got a mature one, congratulations! You’ve got yourself a versatile staple veggie: everything goes!
Pattypan will impress guests whether baked into a scrumptious gratin, velvety soup, stuffed delight, or creamy puree.