Butternut squash, butternut squash - cultivation and care

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Butternut squash, butternut squash - cultivation and care: cultivation

The butternut or butternut squash is one of the musk pumpkins and enjoys thanks to its flavor and soft, non-fibrous pulp even outside its home country of increasing popularity. No wonder he finds himself more and more often in the vegetable patch. Here, however, the conditions for cultivation must be right and also in the culture there are some important points to follow, so that numerous, healthy fruits can show. Interested hobby gardeners will find out what care should be taken to harvest until harvest.


The butternut squash wants to be pampered by the sun, so the location should be bright and warm. Conveniently, a protected, very sunny location, for example, south. Although the plant is not particularly sensitive to wind, it does not get cold and shade. Conveniently, therefore, may be a slightly elevated location or a bucket that can be isolated against cold soils and moved if necessary.
Tip: Do not grow in areas with high groundwater or in areas where rainwater is accumulating for a long time.


If you want to do something special for the butternut squash, put it directly on the compost. The high nutrient content allows the crop to sprout vigorously and usually profitably. Alternatively, the butternut squash can also be placed in nutrient-rich plant or vegetable soil and additionally supplied with an addition of compost. Since the pumpkin does not tolerate waterlogging, the drainage can be improved in compressible soil by mixing in sand. In addition to spreading or mixing the right substrate, the future bed should be slightly loosened and cleared of weeds.

Pre-breeding and sowing

As a heat-loving plant, the butternut squash requires higher temperatures from the very beginning, so pre-germination of the seeds in the greenhouse or on the windowsill is recommended. The seeds are then individually placed in potting soil between March and May and placed in a warm, sunny spot. The substrate is kept slightly moist throughout. In May or after the last frost, the young plants can be spent in the bed. Sowing directly into the field is also possible at this time. Special cultivation soil can then be dispensed with, but the dosed and regular watering is also necessary here.

Plants and cultivation

If you do not want to forego or are a little too late for sowing, you can also purchase preferred butternut squash plants in the trade. These are placed directly into the bed, which is also possible in June or July. As with sowing, a distance of one meter in and between the rows is taken into account, as the butternut squash forms long tendrils.
For a more easy-care cultivation of the butternut squash it is advisable to apply a layer of mulch directly after planting. This reduces the evaporation and thus reduces the necessary pouring effort. In addition, a check on snails should be done daily in the first few weeks if possible. These are often and just at the young butternut squash plants amicably and can cause considerable damage. Again, the culture in the bucket turns out to be favorable. Otherwise, the snails should be read or the plants alternatively covered. For this purpose, transparent plastic hoods are favorable, which are put over the young plants.


Butternut squash needs plenty of water to make the plants thrive and make it successful. The soil should always be kept slightly damp, but waterlogging should be avoided urgently. Casting is ideally with rainwater or stale tap water, even untreated pond water can be used. In regions with soft water, of course, the hose can be used. In dry phases and during the initial strong growth, watering is usually needed on a daily basis. If possible watering is done in such a way that the earth, but not the leaves get wet.


If first flowers appear on the butternut squash, additional nutrients may be added. Well suited are horn shavings, special vegetable fertilizer or compost. Whatever the choice, the remedy is applied around the plants and hooked only very lightly. Since the roots are shallow under the surface, the risk of hurting them is great. Here, therefore, caution is needed. The Butternut squash is fertilized in dry weather, so that it can be watered abundantly following the application of the agent. By this measure, the nutrients are distributed better and it can not lead to chemical burns to the roots.If the substrate proves to be low in nutrients for soil samples, another fertilizer application may be made about one month after the first one.
Tip: Anyone who enriches the soil with compost, pours water in the pond or occasionally mixes plant manure with mulch, can usually do without additional fertilizer.


If you want to harvest a few, but especially large, butternut squashes, the plants should sprout early. The right time for this measure has come when behind the flowers already the fruits are clearly visible. In order to steer the growth purposefully, the five strongest fruits are selected and only these are left standing. All others, including unnecessary side shoots are snapped or cut off. In this way it is achieved that the butternut squash plant only concentrates its power on the remaining fruits. Should it prefer more, but small fruits, can be dispensed with the Ausbizen the flowers. The removal of side shoots that carry no buds, but still makes sense.

Harvest and storage

Butternut squash butternut

To harvest intact butternut squash, the fruit should not rest directly on the ground. Instead, it is better to place wooden boards or foils under them, for example. The harvest time may vary considerably depending on the selected variety. However, the maturity is in each case in two ways. On the one hand, the stem becomes visibly lignified, becomes dry and can hardly be severed with a normal kitchen knife. On the other hand, the fruits sound hollow during the knock test. Since the butternut squashes do not tolerate frost themselves, they must be harvested before the first degrees of frost.
The butternut squash can be easily stored if it is stored at temperatures of maximum 12┬░ C but frost-free and dark.

Various pumpkin varieties

The most popular and tasty pumpkins include the Hokkaido, butternut and nutmeg squash. The Hokkaido squash is a medium sized Japanese breed. It is strong orange and outside inside and its pulp is very aromatic. The butternut squash is characterized by its light yellow color and pear shape. The flesh of the early butternut is deep orange, its taste is intense and spicy. The butternut is a butternut squash of small, handy size. An adult pumpkin of this kind weighs about one kilo. The medium-sized nutmeg pumpkin has a brownish-green-orange peel color. The pulp is strong and can be eaten raw or cooked as in Hokkaido and Butternut. A mature nutmeg pumpkin weighs up to five kilos.

Worth knowing about pumpkin plants soon

care measures
  • The loosening and chopping of the soil must be done with great care, as the pumpkin roots are just below the surface.
  • If the fruits are visible behind the pumpkin blossoms, the plants are spiked out. You snatch off excess flowers.
  • If only two or three flowers remain on each vine, larger and stronger fruits are obtained.
  • During the growth phase the pumpkin needs special nutrients, sun and water.
  • The potting soil must be kept evenly moist. However, the pumpkin is not poured from above, leaving the leaves dry.
  • From July to August, the plants grow daily, so they need to be supported so they do not tear off the tendril.
  • To protect against rot, put a wooden or styrofoam board under the fruit.
  • If pumpkin leaves turn white or brownish, this may be a sign of mildew. In this case, the affected leaves are simply removed.
  • Basically, one distinguishes pumpkins in three different groups of varieties: squash, ornamental squash and squash.
  • Wild pumpkin species often contain bitter substances. These can cause diarrhea, vomiting, headaches and circulatory problems.
  • Ornamental gourds are not edible for this reason and are for decoration purposes only.
  • Garden and pumpkin are on the other hand very healthy and tasty.
  • The pulp of the pumpkin is rich in water and fiber, which has a beneficial effect on intestinal activity and digestion.
  • The pumpkin juice is a nutritious vegetable drink that contains all the vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, copper and potassium.
  • Pumpkins have a floating effect and thus support the breakdown of fat deposits.
  • In addition, pumpkin-containing products strengthen the immune system and the protective coat of the nerves.
If the butternut squash is provided with a sunny and warm location, sufficient nutrients and water, the cultivation is quite simple and is therefore possible without a green thumb. Anyone who still follows the tips mentioned, can look forward to a surprisingly large yield and numerous dishes. Pumpkin plants are easy to cultivate garden plants, which can be sowed directly into the pool from mid-May.When pre-breeding in pots, the pumpkin seeds are already sown from 20 April. Once the cotyledons are fully formed, the young squash plants are transferred to larger pots of propagating soil. For planting into the pool, humus-poor, compost-enriched soil is recommended. Suitable fertilizers are horn gries and mineral nitrogen fertilizers.

Video Board: How to Grow Butternut Squash.

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