Author Topic: Butternut squash  (Read 2051 times)

ThomsonAS

  • Quarter Acre
  • **
  • Posts: 94
Butternut squash
« on: August 18, 2021, 22:13:57 »
Have returned from holiday to find butternut squashes have gone loopy.  Have nipped-out  smallest fruits but would welcome  more advice. Can I remove stems and leaves back to the viable fruit or let them grow on? Should I try and give the more developed fruit extra sun or stick slates under to keep them off the earth? Feed the plants? Water them more? This is only the second year I've grown them!

Allotments 4 All

Butternut squash
« on: August 18, 2021, 22:13:57 »

Beersmith

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • Duston, Northampton. Loam / sand.
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2021, 23:11:03 »
I would not do anything.  The leaves will die back naturally as we move into autumn. You will then see the squashes gradually ripening and the skin and stalks getting dry and hard.  This is what you want.  Once they have had this period of "curing" they will keep very well in an airy frost free store - I've had some last until the new year.  Never leave them so long they get frosted. But at this time of year do not be tempted to cut too early. Just harvest those you intend to eat immediately. Cut too early the stems will weep and may provide an entry point for decay.  You will not do any harm putting them on a support like slate but I have never found it necessary. Surprisingly once they get to any size they rarely seem to rot just from sitting on the earth. 

I think the fruits are naturally adapted not to decay quickly. If not eaten the squashes would sit on the ground and do an excellent job of keeping the seeds safe until the spring when the outer flesh would decay leaving the seeds ideally placed to germinate and begin again.

You are correct to remove the tiniest fruits as they may not have time to grow and mature but I tend to wait until late August to do so. I eat these small ones first.  Sometimes given a mild autumn they get to a reasonable size and provide a useful few extras.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Beersmith

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • Duston, Northampton. Loam / sand.
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2021, 23:17:18 »
PS

I don't feed or water at this stage (unless in serious drought conditions) but opinions may differ. 
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Peanuts

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 707
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2021, 04:36:04 »
We normally have a very good crop of our Waltham butternut squashes here in SW France.  i used the last of 202O crop the end of May, and it was still perfect!  This year has been my first total failure (apart from the horrendous hail storm that wiped the lot out in 2009 :sad10:).  Something to do with the weather this spring, lots of rain (the potatoes have been the best ever), and then very dry? also neglected them, as we were over in the UK seeing family for the first time in over a year. 
There are only four fruit, normally I'd have 20+, and each has split from top to bottom.

Tiny Clanger

  • Half Acre
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2021, 13:10:55 »
Glad you've  posted this. I have same problem
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

gray1720

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 571
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2021, 13:14:59 »
I can't even remember whether I had any germinate now - the labels on my squash plants have faded to illegibility, and they've merged into one great jungloid mass, so I have to wade through it parting  the leaves to see what I've got. Oops! Maybe when the frosts come I'll find out...

I do know that I've got pumpkins in there - lots of pumpkins!....
My garden is smaller than your Rome, but my pilum is harder than your sternum!

Tee Gee

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,758
  • Huddersfield - Light humus rich soil
    • The Gardener's Almanac
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2021, 16:13:51 »
Here are a few photos showing how I used to grow them;

https://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Content/S/Squash/Squash.htm

ACE

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,266
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2021, 17:38:06 »
While we are on the squash theme, I found a packet of mixed squash seeds sent in a mailshot. Tried them out, supposed to be pumpkin, table queen, turks head, butternut, mash potato squash and spaghetti squash. They all came up and I planted most of my plot with them. Loads of fruit but none of them look like any of the pictures I can find online apart from the butternut and turks head. I cut one today as it was hard and ripe. looked like a short marrow. Cut in half and roasted upside down in the hope it was spaghetti. Nope. But it was a fair old contender for mashed potato even if it was orange and bit more fibrous.

Beersmith

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • Duston, Northampton. Loam / sand.
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2021, 23:21:32 »
While we are on the squash theme, I found a packet of mixed squash seeds sent in a mailshot. Tried them out, supposed to be pumpkin, table queen, turks head, butternut, mash potato squash and spaghetti squash. They all came up and I planted most of my plot with them. Loads of fruit but none of them look like any of the pictures I can find online apart from the butternut and turks head. I cut one today as it was hard and ripe. looked like a short marrow. Cut in half and roasted upside down in the hope it was spaghetti. Nope. But it was a fair old contender for mashed potato even if it was orange and bit more fibrous.

I've been getting a real bee in my bonnet this season about plants germinating that are not the ones on the packet.  Started with my first Boltardy beetroot that had two distinctly different leaf shapes, bulb shape
/ rings and growth habit.  Same with the celeriac where differences in shape and leaf colour were obvious.  Some mangetout peas were obviously a mix even in the packet, containing some very smooth some very wrinkly.  Once grown my suspicions were confirmed as some had more rounded pods some much flatter.  Now some of my squashes are certainly not the shape they should be. The honey bear are fine but the butternuts are  far  too elongated to be the correct variety.

I'm pretty hacked off about this and will buy from a different supplier next year.  Objectively it hasn't cost me much but it just seems poor customer service and even deceitful to not supply what is advertised. 
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Tiny Clanger

  • Half Acre
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2021, 10:10:52 »
I'm with you on seeds not bning as you thought.  I grow White discus/Custard white Summer squash - nothing like it this season. more like a patty pan in white - not flat discs. and the sweet dumpling I've purchased this time are more like "Harlequin or Delicata with a pointed bottom - an certainly not trailing.  Whats going on?
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

lezelle

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 375
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2021, 13:48:52 »
Hi Ya, I would be interested in who you purchased the seeds from Beersmith. I have my doubts about some of the ones I bought. I usually go to Kings though our allotment association but last year they didn't deliver due the pandemic. I bought from a garden centre but am a little disappointed with some. Cheers

gray1720

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 571
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2021, 15:45:30 »
I have melons this year because Kings substituted them for the onion I wanted - I didn't complain* as they were ordered through an allotment scheme and, by the time they'd got through my dear mother sending stuff whilst locked down, rather a long time had passed.

Don't get me started on climbing and non-climbing borlotto, though...

*In the circumstances, I don't mind the odd sub, just that melons for onions is a bit off the wall.

 
My garden is smaller than your Rome, but my pilum is harder than your sternum!

Beersmith

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • Duston, Northampton. Loam / sand.
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2021, 17:57:47 »
Whats going on?

Well I simply don't know.

I bought the bulk of my seeds from Kings, including the specific ones I've had problems with. The committee shop manager is pretty efficient and we got seed orders in and distributed through a letterbox system despite the pandemic.

With courgettes, squashes and related types there is always the possibility of cross pollination which they do very readily.  This is one reason why it is not recommended to save seed from courgettes and why bitter tasting and some even capable of causing mild stomach upset happen occasionally. The odd variant would hardly be surprising.

But what sort of quality control would allow peas seeds to be packeted containing a mix of smooth and wrinkly types?  It should have been patently obvious there were two varieties present.

So I cannot decide if these events are simply errors or actually deliberate.  F1 hybrids can easily be triple the price of well known open pollinated varieties, so mixing with a non F1 would cut the supplier's costs substantially but Boltardy are as cheap as chips anyway. 

So sometimes I think it's a rip off, sometimes I think it's simply mistakes, staff being off, mix ups and nothing deliberate.  What I do think is that we should continue to share our experiences and observations!!
Not mad, just out to mulch!

chriscross1966

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,764
  • Visionhairy
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2021, 10:37:09 »
I have melons this year because Kings substituted them for the onion I wanted .....

*In the circumstances, I don't mind the odd sub, just that melons for onions is a bit off the wall.

 

They're both round?

gray1720

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 571
Re: Butternut squash
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2021, 15:18:58 »

They're both round?

Both end in "...ons"?
My garden is smaller than your Rome, but my pilum is harder than your sternum!