Zucchini is the most well-known summer squash, but summer squashes come in quite a variety. They can be long, straight, and thin like zucchini, have a swollen base and thin, bent top like crookneck squash, be round like a baseball, or even be shaped like a flying saucer. Grow bush types in hills 2 to 3 feet apart in rows 3 to 5 feet apart. Plants are notoriously prolific producers, so you may need only one or two to supply your needs.
Zucchini, crookneck, and straightneck summer squashes are best when harvested at a small size, about 6 inches long. Pattypan or scallop squashes are best when they are 3 inches in diameter. Check plants daily because the squashes grow quickly in warm weather. If some escape detection, harvest them as soon as possible. The more you harvest, the more the plants will bear.
Useful, all-purpose vegetables, summer squash of all sorts are delightful sliced or chopped into salads of all kinds, including pasta salads. It adds a texture and crunch all its own. Or use summer squashes in soups, simmering lightly to preserve their texture. For a simple summer side dish, saute in olive oil, garlic, and oregano.