Patisson (Pumpkin pie) belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae. This annual plant is grown in the vegetable garden for its round, slightly flattened fruits, which look very attractive with their small bumps regularly arranged in a crown. This ancient vegetable is interesting from a nutritional point of view, in particular because it is well supplied with vitamins B9 and C, provitamin A, manganese and potassium as well as fibre. Low in calories, it is appreciated by people concerned about their line. All these good reasons encourage the culture of Patisson, especially since it does not pose any particular problem. Let’s do a check in.
Sow patisson seeds
Squash sowing can only be carried out in a sufficiently warm earth, that is to say whose temperature must be at least 15 or 16°C. It is therefore possible to sow between March and June directly in the ground in regions with a particularly mild climate. Sowing under shelter is preferable when the ground is still too cold and if there is a risk of late frost.
Before the sowing under cover (tunnel, greenhouse, veranda, etc.), we prepare our growing medium, namely 50% garden soil and 50% potting soil, which we fill in biodegradable cups. Namely that a soil for seedlings is quite suitable. If we opt for the sowing in placethat’s to say in the groundit is important to start by plowing the area of the vegetable garden that you want to reserve for your squash crop, then incorporate mature compost or manure.
It then remains to place the seeds in the chosen location, at a 2cm depth as much as possible, then cover them with a thin layer of soil that is packed moderately. We count 3 seeds per cup or 3 to 4 seeds per pocket twenty centimeters deep and in diameter. Note that for seedlings in place, we respect a distance 120 cm between two pockets (holes) and from 180 to 200 cm between two rows. We end with sufficient irrigation, preferably with a watering can fitted with its head, in order to obtain a fine rain that does not risk digging up the seeds. The growing medium must be sufficiently moist but not soggy.
About four weeks after sowing in pots, it’s time to transplant squash seedlings in the vegetable garden, respecting the distances indicated above, and after having prepared the soil. For sowing carried out directly in place, it is of course necessary to pass to thethinning as soon as the seedlings have formed four leaves. We then only keep the most vigorous subject of each pocket.
People who do not have a garden can quite grow Patisson in a large pot fully drilled, at least 60 cm in diameter and as deep. It is necessary to place clay pebbles or gravel at the bottom of the container to ensure good drainage. The pot or tray is then filled with a mixture of 40% potting soil, 40% topsoil and 20% manure. Then we install a squash plant in the center. It remains to lightly pack the growing medium and water generously. All you have to do is place the pot in the light, on the terrace or balcony.
It is a non-hardy plant. In other words, Patisson does not tolerate frost. This squash is therefore grown in the sun because it needs enough heat to develop, and in a cool, well-drained, humus-rich, deep and loose soil.
A bountiful harvest is only possible if care is taken to plant cucurbits, which are very melliferous plants, nearby. Thus, many pollinating insects will come to the garden, and will participate in the fertilization of squash flowers. Know that they are groceries. But if you want to harvest squash, it is better to eat only the male flowers, because they are more numerous than the female flowers and it is the latter that bear fruit.
Note also that it is useful to think about protecting the squash from their formation. To do this, simply place a tile under each squash, for example. It’s simple but very useful because the fruits will not rot since they will not be in direct contact with the damp ground.
Cultivated for its nutritional benefits, Patisson also provides very decorative note in the vegetable garden. You can plant an assortment of varieties to see fruits of various colors bloom and marvel at the results. Indeed, Patisson can be:
- Dark green,
- Variegated green and yellow,
- Variegated white and green,
- Green speckled with white.
There is even a miniature pattypan squash in a beautiful water green color, ‘Patty Green’ Tint F1.
Of course, with such a variation, some surprising discoveries are to be expected since squashes are monoecious plants, that is to say that the same plant bears female flowers and male flowers and if we cultivate various varieties of the same species in close proximity to each other, hybridizations are very common. It is also valid between a squash and a zucchini since it is about different varieties of the same speciesen l’occurrence Pumpkin pie. Crossbreeding is therefore entirely possible, and the fruits born of this hybridization are called patigettes, funny edible offspring that are harvested young and are absolutely delicious. Nature still has some nice surprises in store for us!
Caring for the squash
Easy to cultivate, as soon as it is installed in the sun and in very fertile soil, the Patisson grows without major problems.
It is important towater regularly without drowning from the end of sowing until the emergence of the plants because keep the soil moist is critical. Subsequently, after transplanting, watering should not be neglected. Their frequency should be adapted to climatic conditions. For avoid wetting foliagewe take care to water at the neck at the foot of the cucurbits.
It is very useful to put a mulch on the growing medium of the Potted Squash so that the soil retains the humidity longer. But mulching is also recommended for subjects grown in the ground since it limits the evaporation process and slows down the growth of weeds.
As we have seen, it is before sowing or planting that we ensure that the growing medium is sufficiently fertilized. This is usually enough. However, if cucurbits are grown in a particularly poor soilit is recommended toprovide a nutritional supplement. A layer of compost can then be spread at the foot of the seedlings four weeks after sowing in place or transplanting.
Pests and diseases
Patisson essentially attracts slugsthem snails and the aphids. Gastropods can be eliminated manually. As for aphids, they are less present if these squash are planted near the radishes because the latter keep many pests at bay.
On the disease side, it is above all thepowdery mildew which is to be feared because the Patisson is sensitive to it. Under this name hide various fungal diseases. In the event of an attack recognizable by the white felt that appears on the stems and leaves in humid and hot weather, then by the yellowing of the foliage which eventually dries up, it is necessary to remove all the affected parts and burn them. This precaution makes it possible to avoid the dispersion of the spores of pathogenic fungi towards other plants in the vegetable garden, in particular courgettes, tomatoes, strawberries, etc.
The ideal is to treat as soon as the first symptoms appear because once the powdery mildew is well established, the squash plants are doomed to certain death. You can opt for sprays of garlic decoctionof cow milk or even of bicarbonate de sodium, added with a tablespoon of black soap per liter because its wetting power helps the treatments to adhere to the foliage. Another solution is to use a sulfur fungicide. This type of antifungal can be found in garden centres.
Powdery mildew is difficult to eradicate when it is very widespread. Better to take the lead. It is possible to prevent fungal diseases if foliage is allowed to dry quickly. To do this, the squash must be sufficiently spaced from each other. Thus, the air circulates better between the plants. At the same time, during the most risky period, namely from June to the beginning of September, you should not hesitate, every three to four weeks, to carry out a preventive spraying made of nettle manure or of horsetail manure.
Harvest the squash
If you have sown in April or planted in May, it is possible to harvest the squash from the garden from august and the harvest will continue until November. Each fruit can display a weight between 500 and 2000 g (except of course the miniature gourds of the ‘Patty Green’ variety). However, squash are among the small squashes!
Patisson eaten at different stages of maturity, which is a significant asset since you can have fun in the summer. It is indeed an excellent condiment if he is harvested very young. The ideal is to pickle it fairly quickly because its shelf life after picking is limited to about 4 days in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.
Ten weeks after sowing, the Patisson has already grown quite a bit but is still immature. At this stage, we appreciate its almost seedless and very melting flesh. It can be stored for a month. Finally, when his peduncle is dry and comes off, it means the squash is mature. It is no longer necessary to wait to pick all the pattypan squash that have reached this stage, even if the harvest is abundant. This does not pose a problem since their shelf life is then 5 to 6 monthssometimes more, provided of course that the squash harvested when fully ripe is stored in a dark, non-humid place.
They are then consumed without problem as and when needed. Their pulp is delicious, moderately sweet, with some notes of artichoke. For vary the pleasures, Patisson is prepared in different ways, as a velouté, mashed potatoes, gratin, pie or even stuffed. Something to delight young and old for a good part of the year. As for squash flowers and those of other squash, they can be eaten in salads, can be used to prepare delicious donuts and can also be stuffed.