How To Grow Vegetables

How To Grow Butternut Squash

Growing butternut squash can be a labour of love as there is a lot that can wrong when growing them, as they need warm soil and lots of water. However they are very expensive to buy in the shops and as such it is worth making the effort to try and grow them. Just be aware that they will take up a lot of room on your vegetable plot.

Whilst the butternut squash seeds can be sown directly into the ground you are better off sowing them inside either directly into pots or indoor cloches on a nice sunny windowsill. The butternut squash seeds normally germinate in around 7 to 14 days and can be pricked out and planted outside in around 1 month (This will vary dependant on temperature).

They like to be fully hardened up before permanently planting them outside, above all avoid frost at all costs as they can be destroyed by it in just one night. Even when planting them outside it is advisable to put them under a glass or plastic cloche unless you live somewhere very hot.

They should be planted out in March or April depending on the ambient temperature where you live, and if all goes well they should begin to ripen and be ready in September. Rather like growing melons you should remove any leaves that are covering the fruit up, as they need full sun to grow best and ripen. When they have turned yellow they are fully ripened and ready to pick.

To pick the butternut squash use a sharp knife to cut the stalk rather than pulling them off. Once picked you can leave them on the windowsill to fully ripen off, indeed once picked they can be stored for several months.

However make no mistake they are a labour of love and you need to take regular care of them as whilst they like warm soil and a sunny position accordingly this means that they use up a lot of water, so it is essential that if you go away for a weekend that you get someone in to water them for you.

They are best stored inside in a cool dark place, and if allowed to dry out they will store for several months. The butternut squash can be used for a wide variety of recipes however our favourite is spicy squash soup, it is simple to make and the addition of a few chillies will bring the flavour of the squash out. For any problems see Butternut Squash Pests And Diseases

If you like butternut squash, then why not see How to Grow Pumpkins

By Richard Allen -

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