Butternut Squash

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Nettles

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Butternut Squash
« on: September 28, 2009, 14:04 »
Due to an extended stay away from home in May my butternut squash plants went in late this year. Everyone else's have turned yellow and most have been harvested but although I have several growing they are still very green.

As the [night time] temperature is starting to drop, should I pick them now and if so, will they continue to ripen at home or should I leave them on the plant and perhaps wrap them in fleece to protect from frosts and colder weather?

Advice would be most welcome.

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Pompey Spud

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 18:46 »
Hi

I'm no expert but I would suggesest that Squash plants hate cold and so will start to wither and die. I wouldn't think fleecing will help? Thats a lot of vines to cover.

If the fruit are of a good size, pick them and let them cure on a sunny window.
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Chiswickian

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 18:48 »
where do you live, nettles? Here in West London it's still very mild at night and the days are warm and sunny so my BNS are still ripening. As long as you protect them from frost they should continue to ripen and the rinds harden.
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Sadgit

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 15:00 »
I'm in the NE and mine went in late. Should be ok till the 1st frosts and you can cover at night with fleece. cut the plants back so the energy goes into the fruit

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Salmo

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 15:30 »
First frosts threatened for East Anglia next week!!!

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Elcie

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 18:07 »
My plants were looking decidedly sorry for themselves so I have taken my BNS off (I have six which I am pleased with) and they are ripening, hopefully, on the windowsill at home.  I was told that when cutting them off leave the stem on as this helps with the ripening process.

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corynsboy

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 12:48 »
It's a file line this one. 

I'm with sadgit cut back any growing tips so that the plant can concentrate on fruit development.  I'm on Essex/London border close to the Thames and the weather has been very mild down here.  My BNS will probably stay in this weekend but I'm now on frost watch. 

Tuesday I had the first condensation on the car windows in the morning.  The first potential frosts are a couple of weeks away from us I recon.  Iím thinking about Cod fishing soon,  that is usually a sign that the weather is breaking.

When you do harvest make sure to take plenty of stem with the fruit and use a good, strong, sharp knife to make a clean cut.

Mine have been lovely this year.
http://growingyourownveg.blogspot.com/2009/09/happy-little-squashes.html
Apparently any left over green fruit that are not going to ripen in time can be used for chutney.
Corynsboy's Blog


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Sadgit

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 14:27 »
loving your sunflower seeds macro shot...

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Kristen

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 20:31 »
I'm growing them for the first year.

I read to let them take the first mild frost, then harvest, is that advice not "safe" then?

Interesting about taking some vine with them when harvesting. Can I take half a dozen metres of vine, and leave that on for a few weeks before timing and [final] storing  for the Winter?

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jazzbyrd

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 20:54 »
Hi Kristen

I wouldn't risk a frost at all with my squashes. If you hear of a drop in temperatures you can leave your squashes on the vine but I would cover them with fleece. Any continuing low temps or a frost can damage your squashes. You dont need to take long amounts of vine. When the squashes are ready cut from the vine but leave a few inches of the vine attached to the squash. With pumpkins try to leave a *t bar* handle on the pumpkin but dont hold the pumpkins or squashes by the handle you have created. Once harvested if possible allow the squashes to spend about a week to 10 days in the sun...but again if it turns cold or wet for days bring them indoors. This process is called curing and it hardens the skin. Once this has been done you can bring them inside the house perhaps to an unheated spare room so long is its cool and dry for its final storage.

Jazz!!
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Kristen

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2009, 21:01 »
Marvellous! Thanks for that, could have lost the whole of my first-ever crop.

"Once harvested if possible allow the squashes to spend about a week to 10 days in the sun...but again if it turns cold or wet for days bring them indoors"

Put them on racks in the conservatory? or would they be better off in the sun and wind outside, but bought in on cold nights?

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jazzbyrd

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 21:52 »
Yes you can use the conservatory. :)

Jazz

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Smudgeboy

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2009, 23:04 »
Hope nobody minds me hi-jacking this thread but my BNS seem to rot away each time one gets started - the photo below shows a small BNS (scale - this baby grower is about thumb-length) as discovered about two weeks ago. Subsequent photos show what happened to it.

Here's the starter.

Cute, isn't he?

Squash1.jpg
Veg? That's chips, innit?

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Smudgeboy

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 23:04 »
Right, here's the same, not so cute, a few days later:

Squash2.jpg

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Smudgeboy

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Re: Butternut Squash
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 23:05 »
And finally, a couple of days ago - not cute in any sense of the word!

Can anyone tell me what's going on?
Squash3.jpg



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