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Butterbush Winter Squash

Botanical Name: Cucurbita moschata

$3.95
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# of seeds per packet: 30

Description

87 days. Didn’t think you could grow butternut squash? Think again! This excellent flavored butternut type squash is perfect for space-constrained gardeners because vines are dwarf. Early ripening makes them a great choice for northern gardeners with a short growing season. Butterbush squash are shaped like standard Butternut, but their overall size is smaller. Seed cavity is small like Butternut, so there is more flesh per squash than other types. Flavor is excellent: sweet and nutty. Compact plant vines are 3-6 feet long and produce 3-5 squash per plant. Plants are vigorous, high-yielding and have intermediate resistance to Powdery Mildew. Seeds are easily started outdoors. These squash are good for long term storage. Bred by the W. Atlee Burpee Company in 1978 (aka “Burpee’s Butterbush”). There is some natural variation of squash shape in this older variety. Seeds grown by Nature and Nurture Seeds.

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Winter squashes are grown during the summer, harvested in the fall and stored during the winter. Butterbush is a dwarf vining plant whose vines reach a length of 4 feet. Direct sow seeds outdoors (1/2-1” deep) around June 1st (plant 2-3 seeds together in patches with each patch spaced 2’ apart in rows 3-4’ apart). Days to germination: 4-10. Thin seeds to one plant per “patch”. As with all cucurbits, squash plants do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting so if you are starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots. Start seeds indoors May 1st – ideal temperature for germination is 85°- 95° (use heating mat).  Squash seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep germinating seeds on the drier side and use a fan (set to low) to provide air circulation. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Do not let plants become potbound. Transplant (pot and all) outdoors around June 1st, spaced 2’ apart in rows 3-4’ apart. Squash plants like soil with a lot of organic matter so add compost and/or decomposed manure to soil prior to planting.  Protect seedlings from cucumber beetles and squash bugs by covering seeds/seedlings with row cover fabric at planting and leave it on until plants are flowering. Protect squash plants from deer and groundhogs.

 

Harvest:

For winter squash, harvest before frost when skin is hard enough that you can’t push a fingernail into it.   Store winter squash at 50-60° for long-term storage.

 

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Butterbush belongs to the species Cucurbita moschata and will cross (by insect) with all other Cucurbita moschata squashes (including Butternut). Isolation distance is ½ mile (or you can save seed and see what you get!). Minimum population size: 6-25 plants but you can save seed from fewer plants if the seeds are for your own use. Always select seeds from the best plants. Scoop out seeds from mature fruit, rinse and dry seeds.

 

 
Butterbush Winter Squash [[start tab]]

Description

87 days. Didn’t think you could grow butternut squash? Think again! This excellent flavored butternut type squash is perfect for space-constrained gardeners because vines are dwarf. Early ripening makes them a great choice for northern gardeners with a short growing season. Butterbush squash are shaped like standard Butternut, but their overall size is smaller. Seed cavity is small like Butternut, so there is more flesh per squash than other types. Flavor is excellent: sweet and nutty. Compact plant vines are 3-6 feet long and produce 3-5 squash per plant. Plants are vigorous, high-yielding and have intermediate resistance to Powdery Mildew. Seeds are easily started outdoors. These squash are good for long term storage. Bred by the W. Atlee Burpee Company in 1978 (aka “Burpee’s Butterbush”). There is some natural variation of squash shape in this older variety. Seeds grown by Nature and Nurture Seeds.

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Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Winter squashes are grown during the summer, harvested in the fall and stored during the winter. Butterbush is a dwarf vining plant whose vines reach a length of 4 feet. Direct sow seeds outdoors (1/2-1” deep) around June 1st (plant 2-3 seeds together in patches with each patch spaced 2’ apart in rows 3-4’ apart). Days to germination: 4-10. Thin seeds to one plant per “patch”. As with all cucurbits, squash plants do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting so if you are starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots. Start seeds indoors May 1st – ideal temperature for germination is 85°- 95° (use heating mat).  Squash seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep germinating seeds on the drier side and use a fan (set to low) to provide air circulation. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Do not let plants become potbound. Transplant (pot and all) outdoors around June 1st, spaced 2’ apart in rows 3-4’ apart. Squash plants like soil with a lot of organic matter so add compost and/or decomposed manure to soil prior to planting.  Protect seedlings from cucumber beetles and squash bugs by covering seeds/seedlings with row cover fabric at planting and leave it on until plants are flowering. Protect squash plants from deer and groundhogs.

 

Harvest:

For winter squash, harvest before frost when skin is hard enough that you can’t push a fingernail into it.   Store winter squash at 50-60° for long-term storage.

 

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Butterbush belongs to the species Cucurbita moschata and will cross (by insect) with all other Cucurbita moschata squashes (including Butternut). Isolation distance is ½ mile (or you can save seed and see what you get!). Minimum population size: 6-25 plants but you can save seed from fewer plants if the seeds are for your own use. Always select seeds from the best plants. Scoop out seeds from mature fruit, rinse and dry seeds.

 

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