Monday, December 12, 2011

Rounde de Nice

A smaller squash on the left and a larger one on the right
I used to enjoy growing zucchini. However, once I had lost multiple zucchini plants to the notorious Squash Vine Borer I decided to find a zucchini variety that was both compact and could resist the borer. For those of you not acquainted with this beautiful moth, it lays eggs on the squash stem, the larvae chew into the stem, then the larvae eat the stem of the plant from the inside-out. After doing some research I found a variety called Rounde de Nice that I could still grow on a bush and just might resist the vine borer. When I was visiting my dad in California several years ago he gave me some very old seed. I propagated a few plants, grew it out, then sent him some new seed. I found that though this variety is not “bullet proof” it produces a steady crop of zucchini that is very tasty. After harvesting some of this squash for seed I inspected the vine and found that the vine was attacked after all. What saved the plant was a that the stem re-rooted as the plant grew. This is a trait that is found mostly in the C. Moschata (butternut varieties of squash) but rarely in the C. Pepo (zucchini varieties of squash). Overall I was very impressed with the quality of this variety as a summer squash. 

Rounde de Nice can second as a Jack-O-Lantern - if you can cut through the shell.

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