Species: 'Waltham Butternut'
Family Name: Vegetable/Herb
Synonym: Cucurbita moschata
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Lighting Conditions: Full Sun, Sheltered Sun
Soil Type: Clay, Chalk, Sand, Loam
Soil Acidity: Alkaline, Neutral, Acid
Sow indoors from April or sow direct from end May. Indoors, sow seeds on their side 12mm deep into 8cm pots of moist well-drained, firmed compost. Propagate or place on a windowsill. Min temp. 10°C. Germination takes 10-14 days. Once germinated pot on at once to a 12cm pot. Keep barely moist and protect from strong light. Acclimatise and plant out once danger of frost has passed. Plant with 120cm spacing to provide good air circulation. Offer protection from slugs if desired. Sow directly 4 weeks prior to last frost date. Sow 2-3 seeds on their side under cloches with 60cm spacing, thin to strongest seedling once germinated.
Prefers a sunny, sheltered spot, moisture and humus rich soil. Early flowers are likely to be male only, female flowers will follow as the season progresses, essential for pollination. Protect plants during cold nights with cloches. Water regularly to prevent drought stress. Apply a high potassium fertiliser. Avoid overcrowding the plants. Avoid shade.
When the crop is grown undercover allow insect access to ensure pollination. Pick mature fruits regularly. Prone to powdery mildew, treat accordingly. Water the base of the plant, not the leaves or fruit. Prone to slug and snail attack. Complete harvest before first frosts. Cut the squash from the vine leaving 5cm of stalk on the fruit. Cure prior to storing, allow 5 days in the sun after which they should store for months. Do not wash until you are ready to use.
When to Sow
- Sow Under Cover/Plant Indoors
- Direct Sow/Plant Outdoors