I’m trying a new variety of zucchini this year called Rugosa Friulana. It is a yellow, warty zucchini. It is growing 5′ away from my favorite green zucchini, Costata Romanesco. Both are Italian varieties. I thought I’d grow both and compare them.
I covered both plants with row cover after planting by seeds in late May. Male blossoms always appear first with squash, and then the female blossoms (with their little fruit attached at the base of the flower) appear. After the female flowers appear, I uncovered them both so the bees could get in to pollinate them. By keeping them covered early on, I avoided the Squash Viner Borer which appears earlier in the season and is gone by the time the female blossoms appears.
-The Costata Romanesco attracts squash bugs and I pick the adults and eggs off of the plant.
The Rugosa Friulana DIDN’T ATTRACT SQUASH BUGS IN MY GARDEN. That fact alone will make me grow it again. It’s only 5′ away Costata Romanesco, so you’d think it would attract the squash bug but it didn’t. How thrilling is that!
-The Costata Romanesco started producing zucchini 2 weeks ago-mid-July
-The Rugosa Friulana just produced the first fruits now-Aug 7. Not that much difference.
Harvest when Friulana is 6-8″ long. I have let them get bigger but they got woody and hard skinned so harvest earlier when they are smaller. The one in the picture is bigger than 8″.
Now comes the taste test. I sliced both and sauteed them in olive oil with only garlic salt.
The Costata Romanesco tends to have less dense flesh and has a sweet nutty flavor. When you slice it into discs, it has beautiful fluted sides. It has always been my favorite.
The Rugosa Friulana has denser flesh when you cut into it (I like that) and has a slightly different flavor (hard to describe but kinda nutty too). When you cut it into discs, it also has ruffly sides from the warts. I like it just as well.
So if you only want to grow one zucchini plant, you might consider Rugosa Friulana– very flavorful and squash bug resistant.
Both are really good but just knowing Rugosa Friulana might not attract squash bugs makes me want to grow it again. What a pleasant surprise!
LATER NOTE: Someone wrote me and said they did get squash bugs with it but I have not had that problem. So I should say it is squash bug resistant. That is still good enough for me.