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Butternut Squash

enilorac2enilorac2 Suffolk CoastPosts: 53
i was given a Butternut Squash recently and have no idea how to grow it. Will it grow outside, or in the greenhouse, in which case what is preferable? I would prefer to put it outside and presumably it needs some support but I don’t know how tall/wide it will get. I assume it needs a sunny spot?  I normally grow tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes so any help with BS would be much appreciated.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 5,422
    I grew them once and got a good crop.
    Grow them outside on fertile soil in a sunny spot.
    Each plant gets to be huge and will need a space at least 3ft diameter.
    They're best left to sprawl across the ground and use straw or something similar to keep the fruits off the ground.
    They need lots of water and feed.
    I buried an empty plant pot by each plant when I planted them out so I could get water directly to the roots.
    I got 18 good size squashes from 2 plants - and gallons of roasted butternut squash soup! :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • d.s.burton70d.s.burton70 Posts: 5
    I like this question as I grew one last year and it took up so much space. I wondered if you could grown in a pot and trail it over a path (straw underneath)? 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 5,422
    I imagine you could, but it will need to be a big pot and will need lots of watering
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • d.s.burton70d.s.burton70 Posts: 5
    Yes! I think I would put it beside the water butt!
    Thank you
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,942
    They have a naturally creeping habit, so plant somewhere in the ground where it can scramble along several metres (my Crown Prince usually get to about 5m.)  If you train them up something, remember that you will also then have to support each fruit individually and very securely as a 4kg fruit will tear the vine to pieces if it falls from it's support.
    I've tried them in containers and anything smaller than 40l requires too much watering.  Best results came from a 73l builders tub with holes drilled through the bottom and filled with 50/50 well-rotted manure and garden soil.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • enilorac2enilorac2 Suffolk CoastPosts: 53
    Wow!  Thanks everyone, I’m really glad I asked as I had no idea how big they get and how much watering and attention they need.  I do actually like BS but hate peeling them with slightly arthritic fingers. Is it o.k to pick them when relatively small?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,942
    You can buy seeds for varieties which naturally have smaller fruit (and more of them), such as 'Hawk F1".
    There's an old thread which may help:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 60,372
    I rarely peel butternut squash. If you chop and roast them with olive oil or whatever, the peel softens and is perfectly edible unless you have particularly sensitive innards. 

    Someone told me to try it after I inadvertently peeled my finger whilst peeling the squash. I wish I’d known earlier. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • d.s.burton70d.s.burton70 Posts: 5
    Thanks Bob, I think I will have to put it in the ground then. 
    Also I heard Jamie Oliver never peels his either!  :)
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 302
    edited 22 May
    the skin is too hard to peel butternut squash. I chop mine up the way I chop a pineapple - I'd never dream of peeling a pineapple.

    So cut fruit into 3 portions, top, bottom and middle, then chop around the outside with a big kitchen knife, taking away peel and fruit as you go - it doesn't need to be perfect cuts, just as close without wasting too much fruit.

    Or like has been mentioned cut after 10 minutes of boiling... the skin would be very soft but that would be too messy for me

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