If you tend to feel a bit blasé about zucchini, you haven’t tried growing the heirloom variety ‘Caserta.’ There’s a reason why heirloom vegetables are still sought after – many have superior flavor, and Caserta zucchini is excellent in this category! Read on for more Caserta squash information.
Caserta Heirloom Squash History
Caserta zucchini is an open-pollinated heirloom that was bred at the University of Connecticut and introduced by F.H. Woodruff and Sons. The popularity of the new squash was evident when it won the coveted “All American Selection” award in 1949.
Caserta squash is an Italian cocozelle, or crookneck type of zucchini. When it is small, it is straight, but as the fruit matures, it achieves the trademark curved look of a crookneck squash. This gorgeous squash is medium green with wide, darker green stripes and slight ridges. Caserta zucchini is generally thinner than other types of zucchini with a tender, creamy, flavorful flesh.
Caserta squash has a couple of other attributes over other types of zucchini. It tolerates warmer and cooler temperatures than many other varieties and it seems to be fairly resistant to nasty squash borers too. The borers may, indeed, make a toe hold on the vines, but in the end, the resilient plant will continue to produce without complaint.
Growing Caserta Zucchini Plants
Unlike other heirloom zucchini varieties which produce scant fruit, Caserta is a prolific producer. Fruit is ready for harvest in 55-65 days. Caserta can be harvested when it is small but is equally delicious when allowed to attain some size. This bush type of squash can be grown in containers equally well as in the garden and one plant is sufficient for a family of four.
Squash plants, in general, are heavy feeders, so plant Caserta zucchini in rich, well-drained soil in full sun. If you want a summer harvest, sow seeds in the spring; for a fall harvest, plant in mid to late summer.
Sow seeds Â½ inch (1.25 cm.) deep and 4-6 inches (10-15 cm.) apart in rows spaced 4-6 feet (1 to 1.8 m.) apart. If you would rather plant the squash in a hill, sow 3-4 seeds per hill and space the hills about 3-4 feet (1 m.) apart.
Keep the plants consistently watered and fertilize the plants as they grow to foster healthy plants ready to ply you with tasty fruit.
If you’ve only ever eaten zucchini from the supermarket, trust me, your taste buds are about to be amazed! Many zucchinis have a rather lackluster flavor and are really only vehicles for seasonings or condiments, but not Caserta. This zucchini can hold its own eaten fresh or simply grilled with olive oil. Buon appetito!