Is this a butternut squash plant?!? (And how to care for it...)
January Man Posts: 212
in Fruit & veg
We bought this plant early in the year from a roadside stall and it was labelled as a butternut squash. Now that it is formed, it doesn't look like a traditional butternut squash. Maybe it's a different type, or maybe it's something else entirely!
Aside from identification, it would be handy to know whether it looks ripe and ready to harvest, and if not how I will know when it is?
And one last thing... I have not pruned the plant at all. I've just let it do it's own thing and run amok. Is that ok or should I have (and should I now) cut some leaves back as you do with pumpkins?
Last edited: 12 September 2016 09:22:41
Although the plant looks like a butternut squash, the fruit isn't. It looks more like some sort of pumpkin.
Certainly a squash but not a butternut. I can't see the point in cutting leaves back - you want the maximum leaf area photosynthesising to feed the fruits. Be careful that fruit doesn't crush the main stem. Essentially I'd leave the fruits to grow and ripen as long as possible before the plant gets frosted, then cut them keeping as much of the fruit stalk as possible and put in a warm/sunny place for 2 or 3 weeks or so to cure and harden the skin.
It might be worth giving the roots some high potash liquid feed. I've been using diluted tomato fertiliser on mine, although someone else might have a better recommendation.
It looks more like a boston squash. They get bigger than a butternut, and make good soup if you don't want to bother with curing the skin for storage.
Going through some posts and updating them with where things are at now and where they need to go next! Only one squash made it on the plant. Better than nothing! Here are a couple of pics:
I'm going away for a week of Friday. Should I take it off in case there is a cold snap? I think it looks ready but can't be sure.
I think it looks ready. You can cut it off and store it in a cool dry place.
just a tip for next season - try to hand pollinate - you'll get more fruits.
Step by step:
Time pollination for the day that a female flower opens it's bud. With a little experience, you can usually tell the night before it is ready to open.
Pollinate the plants in the early morning. The female flowers will close up later in the day.
Select a male flower. Pull off the petals to expose the stamen which contains the pollen.To make sure the pollen is mature. Touch the stamen with your finger and see if tiny yellow specks(the pollen) come off on your hand.
Using the stamen itself (some growers opt to transfer it to a soft-haired brush). Gently rub the pollen onto the inside stigma of the female flower. Make sure to come in contact with all segments of the stigma. I leave the stamen inside the female flower.
Hand pollination is now complete!
You should plan on pollinating several fruit on each vine. Later on, you can select which ones to keep. The best fruit are those with five or six sections to the stigma in the female flower.
If you are still around - That is a Golden Hubbard!
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
To put Fairygirl’s response to it into context, please consider that this forum is often troubled by spammers who, in their first contribution to the forum, dig up some old thread with the intention of creating trouble.
That was your first contribution to the forum on an old dug up thread. You can see why we are suspicious.
However, if you are not a spammer, welcome to the forum.
If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.