Butternut Squash

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Tanzy
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Butternut Squash

Postby Tanzy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:39 pm

Hi there,

I’m growing butternut squash for the first time, I have one squash that is growing nicely.

3ED55962-869F-4F26-9914-20E738ACD17F.jpeg
Good
3ED55962-869F-4F26-9914-20E738ACD17F.jpeg (5.66 MiB) Viewed 619 times


However, another one I have is like this and not growing any

1DFBDA40-F67A-45DA-9A6E-0659E623905D.jpeg
Not growing any more
1DFBDA40-F67A-45DA-9A6E-0659E623905D.jpeg (4.05 MiB) Viewed 619 times


Then the rest are are like this, and nothing happening with them
F4AE5173-10AB-4036-B608-592CA354BBFF.jpeg
Just not happening
F4AE5173-10AB-4036-B608-592CA354BBFF.jpeg (4.22 MiB) Viewed 619 times


Could it it be that I’ve got too much in my raised bed?

Any suggestions?
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sally wright
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby sally wright » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:17 pm

Dear Tanzy,
The second pictured squash has failed to pollinate; best remove it. Leave the third one for now; but if it goes the same shape as the second one take that one off as well. The plants are looking a little under fed; give them some tomato feed twice a week.
Regards Sally Wright.
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retropants
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby retropants » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:02 am

agreed! picture 3 is a wee baby, leave it to see how well it grows.
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Tanzy
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby Tanzy » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:07 pm

Thanks for that, the wee baby has been a wee baby for about a month. I will make sure to feed more regular, have put chicken pellets down thought that would be enough
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judyk
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby judyk » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:57 pm

Hi Tansy. It's difficult to see if that's all one plant you have there, or if it's two or three plants. If it's one plant, three fruit are likely to be too much for it to bring to full size in the short British growing season, unless it's a variety specially bred for here. I normally limit mine to 2 fruit, and I agree with Sally, they need a lot of rich food. I grow mine on mounds of manure that I cover with a bit of black plastic to warm up the soil for the start of the season. I also see that some of the leaves are looking a bit challenged - have you got a problem with slugs or caterpillars?
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Monika
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby Monika » Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:09 pm

An interesting comment from Sally Wright about the strange looking squash (on the second photo) not having been pollinated. This year I have had a few courgettes with a bulge at one end and a much thinner other end, so I assume they too have not been pollinated. I have taken them off the plant because they were not growing 'normally'.
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sally wright
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby sally wright » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:00 pm

Dear Monika,
a lack of pollinators (bumble bees mostly) is the cause and a quick whisk round with a very soft paintbrush between the male and female flowers will often do the trick in cold or rainy weather. Parthenocarpic courgettes are now available such as partenon and cavilli; they will mention this in the sales blurb as there are more varieties becoming available. They are especially useful for greenhouse work, early or late crops outside and for areas where the climate is less than perfect for growing courgettes.
Regards Sally Wright.
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Monika
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby Monika » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:06 pm

Thank you for this interesting and useful explanation, Sally!
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Tanzy
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby Tanzy » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:29 am

judyk wrote:Hi Tansy. It's difficult to see if that's all one plant you have there, or if it's two or three plants. If it's one plant, three fruit are likely to be too much for it to bring to full size in the short British growing season, unless it's a variety specially bred for here. I normally limit mine to 2 fruit, and I agree with Sally, they need a lot of rich food. I grow mine on mounds of manure that I cover with a bit of black plastic to warm up the soil for the start of the season. I also see that some of the leaves are looking a bit challenged - have you got a problem with slugs or caterpillars?


It’s one plant, not grown them before. Truth be told I will be happy to get one Squash out of it, and won’t be planting one again next year as only have a small raised bed. The leaves are from my turnips I think, my garden is terrible for slugs and snails. I did have the bed covered with mesh however, don’t think it has worked very well. Next year I need to build a proper cage for the bed, difficult bit is that it is only 4ft *6ft and has 2 levels. This is my first year with the bed, so need to have a good think as to what to plant in it next year that will not over crowed it, but also with things that we will eat.
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sally wright
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby sally wright » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:23 pm

Dear Tanzy,
I think that one of the problems you have been having is a lack of Cross-Pollination as ideally you need to grow more than one plant for them to pollinate properly. If you observe your plant it will open male and female flowers on different days. This is to prevent self-pollination so you need at least 2 plants.

Do not give up on butternut squash though; there is another way to grow them. The variety you need is called Butterbush; it does not trail everywhere and takes up very little room.

Covering your squash with mesh is a bad idea as that will restrict the number of pollinators (mostly bumble bees) that can access the flowers.

Regards Sally Wright.
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Tanzy
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby Tanzy » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:05 pm

I will take a look at them, take it I would still need 2 plants? Wonder if the wife would notice 2 more pots turning up in the garden?
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judyk
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby judyk » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:47 am

Tanzy wrote:I will take a look at them, take it I would still need 2 plants? Wonder if the wife would notice 2 more pots turning up in the garden?


Also bear in mind that only the roots and main stem need to take up space in your vegetable bed. I have rough grass surrounding my small raised bed and I plant my squashes at the edge and let them trail round the bed on the grass (paving would do just as well). If you have the space to do that, it also makes it easier to support the fruit with a rock or upturned pot base when it starts to develop, to keep it out of the muck and discourage crawling pests.
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Tanzy
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby Tanzy » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:15 am

judyk wrote: let them trail round the bed on the grass (paving would do just as well).


Already being told off for my raised bed encroaching on the flower beds. Think I would be told off even more for that by the wife :D
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judyk
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby judyk » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:47 am

Tanzy wrote:
judyk wrote: let them trail round the bed on the grass (paving would do just as well).


Already being told off for my raised bed encroaching on the flower beds. Think I would be told off even more for that by the wife :D



Um, tough one. I know! Next year, seed some mixed border flowers in the area where the squash vines will trail, and it will disguise them. :) Although explaining why large squash fruit are peeping out of the flower bed could be a challenge... Maybe you could try pointing out that they have huge cheerful yellow flowers?

Seriously, I guess you are better off with the pot-grown ones, in that case.
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Westi
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Re: Butternut Squash

Postby Westi » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:16 pm

Time for your own plot methinks! Get your name on the list for a local allotment site - pacify the better half by giving her a bit for cutting flowers & bee magnets so your crops benefit as well! You don't say where you are from, but our site had a big peak during Covid & now they have the freedom to go out have lost interest in having a plot & list has dropped considerably after the committee rang them all.
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