Butternut squash are delicious, prolific and easy to grow. They like to ramble and scramble, pinch out when the lead shoot is 3 feet long to encourage fruiting. Each plant can produce 4-8 fruit each weighing over 2 pounds. Butternut Squash has a sweet, nutty taste that is similar to pumpkin. It has yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer.
I am going to try again this year as I have never been successful with this crop. I will content my self with 2-3 fruit per plant and will pollinate by hand.
- Grow from seed when the risk of frost has gone and plant out 3 foot apart.
- During the growing season it is vital to ensure that the plant never dries out to stop fruit being shed.
- Deep beds with a mulch of rotted horse manure and a weekly feed with Miracle-gro or Phostrogen will help crop size.
- Keep stalks/stems dry to avoid rotting.
Harvesting and Storing
When the fruit is ripe the texture of the skin becomes firm, golden in colour and will easily resist the pressure of your thumb nail. Like a melon, it “rings” when given a good rap.
Storage as for all vegetables of this type is in a clean, cool, dry place. I have seen them stored in a loft space on top of fiber glass insulation.
If picked in late September they can last until April the following year.
Winter Barbara Butternut F1 Seeds by Thompson Morgan
Waltham Dutchy Originals Seeds by Thompson Morgan
More Cultivation Instructions
Sow seeds mid April to June, 25mm deep in pots or trays of moist seed compost and germinate at 20C for up to 7 days. Sow seeds on edge for reliable germination. Alternatively sow outdoors in rich soil in full sun from mid May through June, 25mm deep at 120cm spacing.
Pot on individual seedlings in to small pots of compost, keep barely moist to prevent stems from rotting and protect from strong sunlight with a sheet of newspaper. Plant out at 120cm between plants each way once frost risk has passed, then water and mulch regularly.
Harvest small as baby butternuts and steam or bake whole, or stuff when picked at full size.
Harvest fruits regularly for heaviest crops and to extend the season. Harvest all fruits before heavy frost. Can be stored indoors at 10C for several months.
Read more about growing squash