Butternut squash, like all squash species, has specific care needs to produce good fruit. It is worth taking a bit of trouble because with its good taste of hazelnut butter and its ultra-melting consistency – hence its French name Doubeurre – Butternut has all the qualities to satisfy gourmets, young and old, who more is take care of their health. Let’s take a look at how to sow Butternut seeds and see what the main needs of this pear-shaped squash are from planting to harvest.
Sowing Butternut or Doubeurre seeds
Butternut squash are cucurbits which it is very easy to collect the seeds which can then be sown. Simply detach them from the pulp, wash them under running water and let them dry on a cloth. After a fortnight, they can be stored in an earthen pot while waiting for the period suitable for sowing.
Success is key if we take care of:
- Sow between the end of February and April,
- Keep the seeds under cover throughout the germination period because they will only sprout if the temperature is at least 12°C.
We deposit two to three seeds per cupin a substrate composed of a good loose topsoil et rich in nutrients. It is therefore necessary to add either a fertilizer for planting, or manure or any other organic amendment.
When the young seedlings appear, only the most vigorous of each pot is kept. A period of about three weeks is then necessary before transplanting the young butternut seedlings into the ground.
Plant Butternut or Doubeurre
Be careful not to rush to transplant the Doubeurre plants to the vegetable garden because any risk of frost must absolutely be avoided. the transplanting is done in the ground, in a loose and well amended soil in manure because the richness of the earth in nutrients will depend on the quantity of the harvest and the quality of the production. It is best to spread the manure along the entire length of the beds rather than just placing a handful in each planting hole.
It should also be noted that Butternuts must imperatively be grown in full sun so that they benefit from maximum heat.
We pinch the stems above the 4th leaf because it stimulates the growth of the plant. Be careful, this running variety a need space in the garden. This is why it is recommended to count a spacing of 2 meters in all directions between the plants.
Caring for butternut squash
Butternut cultivation does not pose any particular problem. It is therefore ideal for novice gardeners who wish to consume fruits and vegetables from their own production.
Install a mulch
From the moment the Doubeurre squash plants have recovered well after transplanting them into the ground, we can appreciate how quickly they develop. But for that, you have to think about mulch the feet butternut to conserve soil moisture. Mulching also prevents the fruit from coming into contact with the soil. It is essential so that they do not rot.
L’watering East Doubeurre squash Very important and even more in the event of a very hot summer or a period of persistent drought, because they need a lot of water to develop. Avoid watering during the day. It is indeed preferable to water late in the evening or very early in the morning between the end of June and the beginning of September, especially because the sun is beating down at this time of year. Care must be taken to do not wet the foliage pumpkins.
Like all other squashes, Butternuts are greedy who love them extremely rich soilsprincipally in scourge (N), and potassium (K), while their phosphate (P) requirements are more moderate. The gardener must therefore very generously amend the soil well before planting, for example in autumn. If he has not done this, this step must absolutely not be neglected when planting the young vines and then afterwards.
It is interesting to proceed for example:
- At one or two fertilizations in nettle manure which makes the gourds more resistant and promotes their development,
- To one castor cake amendment at the time of planting. It is placed in strips all along the squash beds. Not only is it a progressive action fertilizer but it is also an excellent repellent against rodents and many parasitic insects. The operation can be repeated when the creeping stems are about to form.
Many other solutions can be adopted to fertilize rows of butternut squash. It is possible to buy suitable fertilizers in specialist gardening stores or agricultural cooperatives.
Limit the number of fruits per plant
If a foot produces too many squashes, it will not be able to provide them with the nutrients they need and the quality of the harvest will not be there. To overcome this drawback, it suffices to remove the smallest fruits so as not to keep what the strongest, and not more than 4 or 5 on each foot. This will produce less, but better!
We can anticipate the excess by pinching the long stemswhich will have the effect of limiting the production of flowers, and consequently, of fruits.
Harvest Butternut or Doubeurre
The harvest period varies from region to region, from October to November. But there is no point in rushing because the taste and nutritional quality reaches its peak when the squashes are fully mature. It is not because they are adorned with a beautiful orange-beige color and that they are large that it is time to harvest them. The signs to spot are instead the following:
- The drying out of the stems,
- The yellowing of the leaves,
- The stem of squashes that come off easily.
Ses signs of good maturity appear in this late squash environ 110 days after sowing. Once picked, the fruits can be placed delicately at the foot of a wall, in full sun, where they are left for a whole day to dry before being stored.
People who don’t want to take a gram shouldn’t sulk la Butternut because she does not make you fat, nor its cousins for that matter. Squashes are low in calories and high in water. These are excellent antioxidant foods packed with vitamins and rich in magnesium. It would be a real shame to deprive yourself of it. After harvest, just keep your Butternuts or Doubeurre in a cellar or even in a cool, dry but also well-ventilated place where they will keep perfectly for 2 ½ to 3 months.