GROW UP…with Climbing Italian Summer Squash

I am absolutely loving this Italian Summer Squash, also known as “Trombetta di Albenga


I planted it from seeds I bought from Renee’s Gardens.


The seed pack says that it is an Italian heirloom squash with a delicate taste similar to a “nutty artichoke”. Well, we finally harvested and it definitely has a delicious, mild taste. The nutty artichoke flavor? Well, I think it is a bit of a stretch to call it that…but I guess I can taste a bit of artichoke when I close my eyes and concentrate on the flavor. Although, I was hoping for a stronger artichoke flavor, I still liked it. The flavor is very light making it a nice addition to a squash/veggie mix in any recipe.

But the reason I REALLY LOVE this squash. It is so easy to grow and it grows UP! It looks lovely on a wall or fence making it perfect for small space gardening.


It is a vigorous climber and covered my six-foot wall trellis in no time. The fruit is seedless and firm and grills on the BBQ wonderfully.

Will I grow this again? YOU BET!

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About the Author

Theresa Loe is the Co-Executive TV Producer and the On-Air Canning/Homesteading Expert for the national PBS gardening TV series, Growing A Greener World. She is a lifetime canner and a graduate of the Master Food Preserver Program. She studied both sustainable horticulture and professional culinary arts and she is a wrangler of chickens and two teenage children. (Not necessarily in that order.)

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Susan Appleget Hurst July 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I tried this squash a couple of years ago because I loved the space saving idea. The squash did well, and the plants and fruit were very nice. And, yes, it is nice and firm and less watery than zucchini. But I’m with you on the flavor–I was hoping for more. I wish it had a bit more ‘squashy’ flavor.

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  • Theresa Loe/GardenFreshLiving July 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I agree Susan.

    You know, today we sliced some and ate it raw. (Can’t do that with all squash) and it was good. The skin is soft and does not need to be cooked or peeled. But it was still EXTREMELY mild in flavor.

    My friend Heather said that she thinks it will absorb whatever flavor we put with it. She wants to try it sliced with just salad dressing or dip. She thinks we should treat it like jicama and consider it a crunchy addition without much flavor. That is a thought.

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  • Teresa July 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I just might pick this for my new veggie next year (we all pick a new one to try every year along with our staples), even if the artichoke flavor isn’t strong enough. We just have to find somewhere for it to climb on. :)

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  • Theresa Loe/GardenFreshLiving July 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Glad you checked in Teresa. I forgot to send you a twitter that my Italian Summer Squash review was posted!

    I think you will like it.

    Reply edit
  • Shirley Bovshow "EdenMaker" July 5, 2009 at 12:22 am

    That is a gorgeous squash. Is it white, or just looks like it in the pic? thanks for the information.

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  • Juice August 11, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Saute this squash with garlic and onions and then add tomatoes, apples, garbanzo beans, and some italian herbs. Cook until getting soft, then cover, add a T of water, and simmer. Yummy.

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  • Lori May 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Any idea how long it took before you needed a trellis? Mine have been growning for a couple months now and are wide, but not too tall yet. I’m wondering when I should but the trellis in.

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    • Jodi Stevenson October 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      I bowed a wire cattle panel by sticking both ends into the earth. Planted two seeds on one side and two on the other side. They grew up that wire trellis and also out ward on the ground. I caught as many of the runners as possible and trained them up the trellis but just could not keep up with them! Such a beautiful plant, and loaded with squash! If I can find a way to load pictures on this site I will. Or you can e-mail me.

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