When to pick Summer squash?
OK, this feels like a dumb question, since ordinarily, I know exactly when to pick Summer squash...but what I'm seeing is a bit unusual.
Having run out of Summer squash seeds (not to mention getting a bit of a late start), I decided to buy transplants at the big box store. They are labeled simply "Straightneck Summer Squash," so I don't know the cultivar. It is a bush variety.
They started blooming, and started setting fruit. I looked at the small (and quite short, I'll add) developing squashes, and thought, "I'll pick those when they get a little bit longer."
Except...I'm not convinced that they're getting longer. They are, however, getting fatter, especially on the seed end. They are otherwise shaped like you'd expect a Summer squash to be shaped, just quite short and (increasingly) stout.
Are there some varieties that remain quite short? Are there some varieties that get a swollen seed end even when they aren't approaching over-ripe? Could this be related to it being the first few squashes on the plant? The plants are huge, healthy, and producing a prolific number blossoms, both male and female.
Most of all, I suppose...is the swelling seed end an indication that I probably ought to pick these squashes ASAP, even though the overall size of the squash remains quite tiny?
Of course, I could probably answer my own question by picking one and cutting it open, to examine the maturity of the seeds inside...but I'm reluctant to pick too early, and therefore fail to get enough squash for dinner.