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Tromboncino!  I love saying the word.  I only just goggled it and found out that I've been spelling it wrong, not enough 'n's.  Well its difficult when you come across a vege that you've never met before, you don't know how to pronounce or spell its name and you don't really know how it will grow, when to harvest or how to eat it!  I suppose that adds to the excitement.  And there's always the possibility that a new vege may grow really well in your conditions AND taste nice too.

a tangle of tromboncinos
I was given tromboncino seeds by a lovely lady at our permaculture group (thanks Judi!) and I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I had read about them on Linda Woodrow's Witches Kitchen, so I know that they like to climb and that I may get more than I could eat.  Just in case, I only planted three seeds, and two of them made it out to the garden, planted next to the fence, so they could climb up if they wanted to.

They didn't do much through our dry spell, even though they were high priority for water.  I got two tromboncinos off them before it started raining.  Then they quadrupled in size and became COVERED in fruit.  They are doing way better than the zucchini and squash I planted, so they are a winner so far.  They have only just got a little powdery mildew (understandable in this weather) and hardly any trouble with blossom end-rot - both of which are my main problems with zucchini and squash.

Here's the two tronboncinos amongst beans and pickling cucumber
They are pale green and hook over things to form the weirdest shapes.  It can be quite difficult to find them in the foliage and then you realise just how many you have.....  The fact that they climb means that you can make use of vertical space as well as providing shade for more tender plants in the garden, which is much more convenient than scratchy zucchini leaves sprawled everywhere.

tromboncino with flowers

here's some mini ones starting to form
I think the reason that you don't see tromboncino as a commercial crop is that its quite easily bruised or snapped.  They don't have the thick skin of a zucchini and are not as fibrous.  The texture is really quite smooth, more like pumpkin, but not as tough.  I haven't grown one big enough to save seeds yet, so I have left a bigger one on the vine for later, but I think I might have to let it get rather huge!

here's what they look like on the inside
I have been using it like zucchini, either raw in salads, or cooked with other veges or in stew.  I'm going to dry the excess like I did with zucchini earlier in the year.

I will definitely be growing tromboncinos again next year and I hope I can save my own seeds as well.  It will be interesting to see how they survive into winter.  

Have you tried growing or eating tromboncino?  Would you like to?


  1. I have been watching this vegetable take over in so many gardens. You seem to think it grows well in the wet season - I wonder if it will grow up here in the tropics? I have yet to see any seeds available, but I will definitely be in line if you manage to save some seeds to give it a try up here. I am hoping to try to grow zucchini up trellises this year.

    1. try

      If I do managed to save some, I will be sure to offer them to everyone :) You only need 2-3 plants to feed you all summer!

  2. Here is the description in the local(Virginia) Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:
    Tromboncino SQUASH, SUMMER 3 g
    Retail Price: $2.75
    [Heirloom] [Southern] [Organic] (C. moschata) 80 days. 80 days. [Italian heirloom] Light green fruits grow long, curving to a bell at one end. Vining plants can be grown on a trellis. Harvest at 8–10 in. long when the flavor is fine and sweet. Vigorous moschata plants can bear all season in areas where insects are a problem for other summer squash. If left to mature, skin will ripen to tan like a butternut squash. Grower Richard Moyer notes that the male squash blossoms sell well at market! Pkt. (3g)
    Sounds like something that I need to try! Thanks

    1. thanks Gill, I hope this helps people to find them!

  3. I'd like to give that a go down here in Tas. Never seen it before but it sounds like my cup of tea. Thanks for the info, will look out for something next spring.

    1. Will be interesting to see how they grow down there :)

  4. I've had far too many of them this year (first year growing them). I use them in place of zucchini. I find they're easier to harvest as you can loop them over your arm or round your neck to carry a mass of them in at once, but more difficult to store as they're so big and twirly.

  5. I'm definitely going to try some of those next year, they sound great, so if you happen to manage to save any seed... :)
    I love the vision that the Frugal Farmlet has planted in my mind too of someone draped all over with them!

    1. yes, I never thought to carry them like that!

  6. They look like the funnest vegetable. I've never even heard of them but will definitely look out for them now. I hope they do well in my climate.
    Just looked on the Kings Seeds and Koanga Garden Seeds sites and they don't sell them. Hmmm, this may prove tricky.

    1. hi Emma, try for tromboncino in NZ.

  7. Great vegie to grow I've been growing it for several years and saving my own seed and sharing it around.
    I think I got my first seed from Digger's but I've seen it listed at 4 seasons seeds and The Italian Gardener as Tromba d'Albenga.
    I've just picked off the one I saved for seed as the vine had died now I hope the seed is viable.

    1. I still have some of your seed, but I am hoping to save my own too, worried that the blossom end rot is ruining it though...

  8. new one on me,I have just got into growing different squashes at the moment so think it will have to go on the list to try,thanks

  9. I haven't tried but might do, having seen your post. Pumpkin and the like do go everywhere (which is great ground cooling cover for the fruit trees in summer) but we are now very careful where we walk because of the tiny prickle-hairs!

    Looking forward to see what you do with these veges. If they can be used like zucc then bonus! :)

  10. Cool. I love zucchini, maybe I should try these, too. Thanks for sharing with the HomeAcre Hop. Come back and see us this week:


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