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Failed Butternuts!

I grew two strong Butternut squash plants from seed this year. They seemed to be slow to flourish and quite late in flowering. Both have loads of flowers growing upwards to the light, but I only got two very small squashes - one at the end of each runner. ( Husband has just knocked the largest off with the lawnmower - so that's the end of that ! )

Can anyone tell me why I got so many flowers but no fruit?

Grown these successfully before and got a good harvest.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    Lack of pollination and then a poor summer.  Butternut, even those good for the UK, need a lot of sun I find.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    I had the same question last year.. A friend told me not to use 'saved seed' from a squash bought as a vegetable.. The reason beibg that these are 'Irradiated' and so do not produce usable squashes..

    I had great plants and got 2 tiny fruits 2 inches long that fell off..

    So next time buy packet seeds.. and theysprawll so grow up and support and tie in..

    Good luck..image

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    I've been growing them for several years and have 8 varieties in this year, with a couple grown in a greenhouse.  None of them have done particularly well with only one or two squashes per plant so I think Obelixx is right - just a bad year for them due to the weather.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    With the move and all I didn't sow my own seeds this year but bought a few squash plants.  They had a very slow start because of the May and June heatwave and a 14 month drought that has only just ended with some decent rain this weekend.   Nevertheless, I have a few decent squash growing and ripening including a butternut from seed that escaped from the compost heap that has produced 3 decent fruits.

    Last edited: 04 October 2017 20:30:01

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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  • Thanks for comments. Being in north of England 'dark & cold' seems to win over 'sunny & warm' !

    I tend to have most success by sowing seeds quite late as I don't have a greenhouse. My allotment however is open and in full sun. Think I'll try sowing indoors & much earlier to get more growing time next year. Also - growing them up on a frame or trellis sounds a good idea. That way they'll get more light and air maybe. I love butternut squash and feel ' robbed' ! image

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