New to Butternut Squash: a few questions

actionclawAugust 16, 2011

This year, for the first time, I'm growing some Butternut squash (have no idea which variety) and have a few quick questions for those with some experience in this area:

  1. How many fruit does/should a plant typically bear?

I've read posts from some that have 20 or more full size squashes on the vine and others with vines covered with flowers but nary a squash. Is there an "average" and if so, what is it?

  1. I assume that the number of female flowers you have is what determines how many fruit you'll get but are there factors (certain soil nutrients, ambient temperature, amount of sun exposure, for example?) that determine the number of female flowers you get?

    (I have two groups of the same type of squash started at the same time growing on two different sides of the same building (different soil, different amounts of sun, diff temps). Both look good. One area has 5 squash and more females the other I don't believe has any squash yet. I did notice one female there that seemed to just wither.)

I let the plants both sprawl and climb. So far, there are only squash on the horizontal sections. Is it advisable to occasionally turn them, give them a little "nest" to rest in or just leave 'em alone?

I welcome answers to any or all.

Thanks,

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weirdtrev

1) 3 or 4 per plant is a good yield, 1 or 2 per plant is more typical if all you do is water and weed them. 20 is a plant grown on last years compost pile that was babied and shouldn't be expected under normal growing conditions, especially not for a first time grower. When people ask about yield I always like to post field trials so here you go Butternut and Acorn field trials

2) Plants should be well fertilized and in full sun. Temperature is largely out of your control so don't worry about it. Full sun is over 6 hours, well fertilized is following the directions on a bag of vegetable fertilizer or working 3 inches of compost into the soil at planting or side-dressing the vines.

3) Don't worry about turning them, but if you want to put something under them you can. Anything that keeps them out of contact with the soil and dry works. It is only really useful if you are growing a few and every squash matters not if you have a field of them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:34PM
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omasfeast

Thanks to all who answered. I now live in TN and this is my first year gardening. My soil is zero and instead I have chert and shale. I grew some squash for the squash bugs (hundreds) and some in a bag of topsoil. As this plant grew it dipped into a bucket of water nearby and I let it. This variety grows to 15 -30 lbs.each squash. I have one round green striped squash on this plant. Another plant wandered under and around my deck, It has three squash on it. One is about 18 inches long, one 12 and one about eight inches. The trouble is the vines are starting to die. I will try the paper towel and foil method and let you know how it turns out.
Soup sounds yummy. Thanks PS I was a master gardener in GA and had gardens in other states.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 5:16PM
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