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Problems with butternut squash

After many years of mixed success with butternut squash, this year I achieved 20 fruit on 2 plants trained up a trellis. Two fruit got as big as 6 inches and i netted them. However, in due course all of them rotted from the bottom and died At various sizes.

Could this be a watering problem or something else? the soil was correctly prepared beforehand.



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,067

    It hasn't been a good year for squashes in general, as noted by several forum members, me included.  I suspect that the rot started in the flower before it fell off the end of your squashes.  I manually remove the dead flowers to try and minimise this on both squashes and courgettes but it's not always successful, especially if it's cool and wet soon after the fruit has set.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Sorry if you've had a thread8 going on this already, I only joined today. Your information is really interesting, However I'm glad I'm not alone in underachieving!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,918

    Hi Jacqui and welcome to the forum image

    The only squashes I grew in this garden this year were courgettes and it's been a shocking year - I've a feeling that although we've had good temperatures here in the East of England, low light levels might be a contributory factor image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • That could well be part of the problem, thanks, however I have to say here, near Heathrow, my courgettes were prolific, this is what made it so much worse. I do have friends around who had no squash but theirs just didn't develop. Mine were in full flow when they perished.

  • My gourds started very slowly, but once they got going they decided to 'romp' all over the garden....! The ones earthed in the greenhouse escaped through the rooflight & open doorway [see pics of gathered fruits on my recent "I've got a luverly row.......coconuts" thread]. I'll leave them to it & see what we have by the time of first real frost - garden is sheltered in town in coastal SW Wales, so with any luck it could be a while yet.

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,353


     First time I've grown butternut squash this year.  I grew them on my slight hill and I bought one plug that cost about 25p.  I've been chuffed to bits with them so if this is a bad year then the seeds I've saved might impress me more next year.  I've not watered them at all and the first two fruit were badly split (but tasted great so who cares).  Not boasting but sharing the experience in case it's helpful.  The soil they're in is very dusty but came from an old compost heap so I imagine quite fertile.

  • Well done David Matthews 2, and Tetley T, they look magnificent, hope you both enjoy the fruits of your labour.

    Something mysterious happened to mine this year, I still have 2 or 3  squash at about 4 inches but I know they will perish Too.

    Roll on next year (I'll keep you posted)

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,353

    That's the gardener's mantra isn't it? year...!  image

  • Yes, that's the fun of it, no two years are the same

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,353

    One of the gourds in that picture is now in my tummy!  Roasted in cubes at 220'ish (or high'ish if you're doing other stuff) with olive oil, cinnamon, pinch of cayenne, seasoning, and brown sugar with the idea of the cubes being soft, browned, caramelised and tasty.  Lovely.

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