Squash - Waltham Butternut Winter Squash

Avg seeds/pkt 38

Waltham Butternut squash: if this is the only winter squash you grow, you’re in good company. Weighing 3 to 5 pounds but only 8 to 10 inches long, Waltham butternuts are manageable in the garden and the kitchen. Their dense, sweet flesh develops full flavor only after a period of storage, making it one of the most popular dishes on the winter table.

Choose a sunny location and prepare your soil. Dig in well-rotted compost and a granular, low-nitrogen fertilizer to form low mounds spaced 4 feet apart. Then, a few weeks after your average last-frost date, sow 4 seeds in each mound, 1-inch deep and 6 inches apart. Firm soil and keep damp. Over-watering may cause seeds to rot. Plant with borage and radishes to attract pollinators and deter insect pests.

Seedlings emerge in 5 to 10 days. After vines have 4 true leaves, thin to 2 plants per mound. Mulch and water deeply twice a week, and, if desired, occasionally drench leaves with a dilute liquid kelp.

Butternut squash mature in 100 days but be sure to harvest 2 weeks before the average first frost date. Cut stems an inch from the squash; cure in a warm, dry spot for 10 days and store in a cool, dry spot for 6 months or longer.

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