Can I prune my butternut squash?

catherinet(5 IN)July 20, 2009

My garden is unbelievable this year. Everything is growing better than its ever grown. I think its that chicken poop, mulch, and rain every few days.

Anyhow......the butternut squash is getting ready to climb my pole beans. It will be really hard to pick the beans this way.

Can I prune the squash vines back? Or does that injury increase the chance of disease in the stems??


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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

You can carefully redirect your vines in a better direction, but winter squash are big plants that need space. Pruning them is apt to reduce the number of squash you get.

Most people only prune squash vines if they are growing extra large squash for giant vegetable competitions.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 5:54PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks iam3killerbs,
I'll just redirect and hope they stay put. :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 6:34PM
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Sure! You can prune them. If they are over grown beyond leaps and bounds, you can even use a hedge trimmer(LOL).
But probably you would want to do it selectively and surgically, if you want to baby them.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 9:01AM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

You can make them stay put by putting sticks into the ground to hold the vine in position.

Waltham Butternut has vines 6-8ft long (longer under superior conditions), and the fruits are born well out along the vines (male flowers are closer in to the roots), so trying to restrict their growth before they've achieved at least 2/3 of that length and set a couple fruit is likely to severely reduce your crop.

I'm growing Giant Argonauts this year and am having to rearrange and pin the vines (which may go 10-12 feet). They want to grow across the path to DH's office so that he can't get to work. LOL

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 9:56AM
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