Cucuzza Squash

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"Serpent of Sicily" Cucuzza Gourd is an Italian summer squash characterized by it's incredibly long snake-like body, growing up to 3-4 feet in length - sometimes up to 10 inches in one day! Its light-green body, firm white flesh, and slightly sweet taste makes this special squash a popular ingredient in southern regions of Italy. Stew in red sauce, stuff for "Gagootz," or fry or steam with vegetables!

Also Known As: Cucuzzi Snake Melon, Cucuzza Snake Gourd, Lauki, Dudhi, Long Bottle Gourd, Long Opo Squash, Long Calabash Gourd, Serpente di Sicilia, Italian Cucuzza, Goo-gootz, Tromboncino

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Plant Name:
Cucuzza, Serpent of Sicily
Latin Name:
Lagenaria siceraria
Days to Germinate: 7-14
Days to Harvest: 60
Germination Rate: 95%
Test Date: 3/22
Growth Habit: Vining
USDA Zones: 3-11
Lifespan: Annual
Country of Origin: United States
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
GMO: No
Pollination:
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds:*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2022

*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.


Planting Instructions:

 

Soil Preparation:

To prepare soil, remove weeds, large rocks, and litter from the planting area. Leave small weeds and dead grass, they will enrich the soil when turned under. Spade the soil 8-12 inches deep and turn each shovel of soil over completely to cover the plant materials with soil. You may add fertilizer (see "Fertilizing" below) or 2-3 inches of organic material such as compost, leaves, or rotted hay over the planting area at this point. Till to mix this organic material into the top 8-10 inches of soil. Make rows of soil beds 4-6 inches high and at least 3 feet apart. This formation of ridges will help with drainage.
 

Planting:

Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. To plant, make 1 inch deep holes spaced 4 feet apart in raised beds down the rows, then plant 1-2 seeds in each hole. Cover thinly with soil and water after planting. After the seeds come up and plants are 3-4 inches tall, thin to 3 plants per hill. Cucuzza will grow on vines which can then be trained over a trellis or sprawl on the ground.
 

Planting Depth: 1 inch
Within-Row Spacing:
4 feet
Between-Row Spacing:
3-8 feet (can trellis or sprawl)

 

Care During the Season:

Watering: Water the plants enough to keep them from wilting. If the weather is really dry, squash plants should be watered at least once a week. Sandy soils need to be watered more often than heavy clay soils.

Weeding: Keep plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing do not dig deeper than 1 inch to prevent from cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth.

Fertilizing: You may optionally add scatter 2-3 pounds of a complete fertilizer for each 100 square feet of garden area. Work into the soil and leave the surface smooth. For small gardens, use 2-3 tablespoons of fertilizer for each hill. Scatter the fertilizer evenly over a 2 foot by 2 foot area. work it into the top 2-3 inches of soil. When blooms first appear, you may optionally apply 2 tablespoons of fertilizer around each hill. Do not let fertilizer touch the plants. Water the plants after fertilizing.

Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used for prevention. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Larvae of the Squash vine borer are usually found inside the stem and cannot be controlled once they are inside the stem. Sevin® and Thiodan® can control for squash bugs. Pyrethrin and rotenone can control for the cucumber beetle. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.

Diseases: Check the plants daily and if spots or mold appear, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used. Please always follow label directions.
 

Harvesting:

When cucuzza is about 3 feet long, fruit will mature and skin may harden. Harvest cucuzza when they are young, pale green, and skin is still tender. Skin will have soft fuzz but will disappear while cooking. Cucuzza is best when cut, not pulled, from the vine. Old squash vines can be composted or worked in the soil well before the Spring planting season.


Nutrition Facts:


Calories 22
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 3 mg 0%
Potassium 248 mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 5 g 1%
Dietary fiber 1.8 g 7%
Protein 0.9 g 1%
Vitamin C 20% Calcium 3%
Iron 2% Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B6 5% Cobalamin 0%
Magnesium 4%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.