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squash inflation

yellow squashes on the table

Success PM Yellow Straightneck

We have summer squashes in the garden after an absence of a year or two. Five types, because I was using up the ends of a few different seed packets (and then bought one more when I had bad germination on some old zucchini seeds). They're growing fine—not at the amazingly productive level that gives rise to jokes, but respectably—but I do have one problem: I can't tell how big they are.

The thing with summer squash is, you want to pick them fairly small; wait too long and the seeds mature and harden up. But the plants are in the midst of our new section of garden, cheek-by-jowl with winter squash, corn, and beans, and it's hard to get in there and really check how big they are. Even worse, they all grow at the same rate. It's like with kids: your own kids never get any bigger, but when you have a toddler babies get smaller; and I imagine when your youngest hits college age high-school students are looking pretty young to you. With all the squashes growing at the same rate, I keep checking them and thinking, "yup, almost ready".

I picked a few today (pictured above) and they were a bit too big. They were tasty enough cooked in lots of butter along with salt, pepper, and parmesan (if only I could get my big kids to eat them). But I'll try and pay more attention and get the next batch smaller. Maybe keep a ruler outside?

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