Good2Go

Butternut squash

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Well, wifey went to the garden center and came home with a 3 cell of butternut squash. Label says they grow 7-11 inches. How do you tell when they’re ready for picking, since they are so dam hard to begin with? Wait till the vine dies? And should I rest the growing squash on something to keep the nematodes or other borers from ruining it? This will be a first (and maybe last!) for me. 

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I hope that 7-11 inches is diameter and not vine length. They usually take well into September or October to be ready to pick. The skin will turn to a creamy tan color and harden up when they are ready. Pests usually don't bother the fruit itself, it is the squash vine borer that will get them. They bore into the stem of the vine near the base. Some use a small piece of aluminum foil wrapped around the stem near the base to deter them.

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I’m sure 7-11 inches is length of fruit.  Some people measure them because they’re getting close when they stop getting bigger.  As Steve mentions, skin color and the skin itself becomes harder.  Stems will go from green to brown so you know fruit is gaining anything from the vine.  So no green and you can’t break the skin with your fingernail.  Leave an inch or two of stem, cut don’t pull.  They need to cure for a couple weeks in roughly 70 degree shade for good storing.  I have enough problems with powdery mildew that I don’t have to guess much because foliage dies off.  Haven’t had any problems with damage to the squash 

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4 hours ago, Steve in Mass said:

I hope that 7-11 inches is diameter and not vine length. They usually take well into September or October to be ready to pick. The skin will turn to a creamy tan color and harden up when they are ready. Pests usually don't bother the fruit itself, it is the squash vine borer that will get them. They bore into the stem of the vine near the base. Some use a small piece of aluminum foil wrapped around the stem near the base to deter them.

Thanks for that.

2 hours ago, JimW said:

I’m sure 7-11 inches is length of fruit.  Some people measure them because they’re getting close when they stop getting bigger.  As Steve mentions, skin color and the skin itself becomes harder.  Stems will go from green to brown so you know fruit is gaining anything from the vine.  So no green and you can’t break the skin with your fingernail.  Leave an inch or two of stem, cut don’t pull.  They need to cure for a couple weeks in roughly 70 degree shade for good storing.  I have enough problems with powdery mildew that I don’t have to guess much because foliage dies off.  Haven’t had any problems with damage to the squash 

Didn't know the fruit needed to cure.

2 hours ago, Good2Go said:

Good advice, thanks guys! 

Yes for sure.

I only have one, it's a Burpee Butter Bush as I'm short on space. Should be interesting. 

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3 hours ago, JimW said:

I’m sure 7-11 inches is length of fruit.  Some people measure them because they’re getting close when they stop getting bigger.  As Steve mentions, skin color and the skin itself becomes harder.  Stems will go from green to brown so you know fruit is gaining anything from the vine.  So no green and you can’t break the skin with your fingernail.  Leave an inch or two of stem, cut don’t pull.  They need to cure for a couple weeks in roughly 70 degree shade for good storing.  I have enough problems with powdery mildew that I don’t have to guess much because foliage dies off.  Haven’t had any problems with damage to the squash 

Spot on, Jim.... :th:

 

The mildew, you have to be on that basically from the time you plant them. Various different sprays you can use, some home made, some commercial, but even then, you have to be diligent, which I have never been able to be with this. :o

 

 

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47 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

Spot on, Jim.... :th:

 

The mildew, you have to be on that basically from the time you plant them. Various different sprays you can use, some home made, some commercial, but even then, you have to be diligent, which I have never been able to be with this. :o

 

 

I’ve tried neem oil and it probably works if you start from day 1.  Other people swear by it but I’m always too late.  Good reminder to get on it soon and maybe have better results. 

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12 hours ago, JimW said:

I’ve tried neem oil and it probably works if you start from day 1.  Other people swear by it but I’m always too late.  Good reminder to get on it soon and maybe have better results. 

How would you use Neem Oil?

i just put mine in the ground, along w/ a water Mellon. Should I start using neem oil?

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All of this stuff you spray on the leaves, both sides. Neem, Baking Soda, buttermilk, a few other things that escape me right now. And you have to repeat diligently at least every week and/or after it rains and dries out.

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58 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

All of this stuff you spray on the leaves, both sides. Neem, Baking Soda, buttermilk, a few other things that escape me right now. And you have to repeat diligently at least every week and/or after it rains and dries out.

Wow, sounds like a PIA.

Thanks

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Cut them off today. They’d stopped growing weeks ago and the powdery mildew had killed off all the leaves so they were looking tired. Will let you know how container gardening worked once we cut em up and eat em. 

 

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Well, they were great! Ate each one. Had BNS risotto, and roasted in the oven. Great texture, nutty flavor, really a fan of these. Bit small so next year will work up another raised bed for veggies and stick them in the ground. 

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I came clean with my girl about them this year. That they do nothing for me. Don't care for the flavors and they're far too much work from ground to plate for me. Especially the damned spaghetti squash that she loves. If not for the cheese and such that I have to smother them with to make them palatable, they're only good to dry out and have more gourds for next years decorations ( which I do not need ) .

Huge fight. On the couch for a night. 

I like zucchini, eggplant, and pumpkin. The rest are crap to me.

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