Two new squash varieties I tried this year are Tonda Padana and Zapallo Plomo. Tonda Padana is a pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) with thick yellow ribs and mottled green and yellow to orange skin in between. This variety is grown in Italy and used in soups, pasta filling, and gnocchi. The vines are large and rambling so it should be planted where it will not interfere with other garden crops.
The other new squash I grew this year is Zapallo Plomo (C. maxima) which is from an ancient Southwestern variety. It appears similar to the Santa Cruz Calabaza. The skin of Zapallo Plomo (Spanish for “leaden gray squash”) is gray to blue-gray and may have small lighter colored mottles. One squash had abundant corky growths on the skin. The squash produced from the seeds I planted were a rounded acorn shape to flattened and some had prominent ribbing. This plant also produces a large rambling vine and needs plenty of room to grow.
I had only a few seeds of each variety to start with but the yield was good. The Tonda Padana produced ten squash and the Zapallo Plomo four squash both with an average weight of about 7 pounds. That’s not bad for a fifteen foot row with seven plants.