What stage should my butternut squash plants be at by now?

(21 Posts)
mmmmmchocolate Wed 17-Aug-16 17:08:24

Its the first year I've grown them and I was getting concerned that I'm running out of growing time.. There seems to be very little info online about them.

The leaves look healthy, the vines are maybe 3-4 feet long now. There are multiple flower buds but no flowers. Should they not have flowers on by now?

mmmmmchocolate Thu 18-Aug-16 09:00:16

Bumping for anyone!

HerestoyouMrsRobinson Thu 18-Aug-16 09:01:51

I don't know the answer but my sweet peas are the same, tall and leafy but no flowers.!

PikachuSayBoo Thu 18-Aug-16 09:07:38

I have flowers and also little, tiny green squash. Maybe 4" long.

I'm worried that they're actually behind where they've been previous years. I would expect them to be bigger by now unless my memory is wrong.

My pumpkins are huge already!

PikachuSayBoo Thu 18-Aug-16 09:08:04

But yes I would have thought you need flowers by now.

dontpokethebear Thu 18-Aug-16 09:10:40

We have nothing sad first time since we've started growing that we've had no luck with them.
You should have at least some little green ones by now.

Ifailed Thu 18-Aug-16 09:12:39

whereabouts are you OP, and when did you plant them? How are you feeding them?

TaIkinPeace Thu 18-Aug-16 09:14:30

I've grown them for years.
Mine are at least a month behind normal.
Are you keeping them well watered and fed?
Are they getting plenty of sun?

shovetheholly Thu 18-Aug-16 09:16:16

In many, many places they are really behind this year. A cold start really didn't help.

Mine have just set fruit. I highly doubt there is time for them to ripen before the end of the season. I grow 'Crown Prince' which is a really early variety, and it's hopeless where I am in the north of England. Next year I'll be trying something else!

mmmmmchocolate Thu 18-Aug-16 14:30:19

Thanks all, I'm in the Midlands. We haven't really had many warm days this year where I am..

They're well watered probably haven't fed them enough but they've been given blood fish and bone type fertiliser and they're in the bit of the garden that gets the most sun. As I say they look really healthy but they're just big vines at the moment hmm out of 12 seeds planted only 2 actually germinated.

Shove- no, we kept getting snow flurries here until the end of April.

So what should I do? Dig them up? Or leave and see what happens? If by any chance I do get fruit, do I leave them as long as until the frosts come? And what if they're not ripe by the time I need to bring them indoors?

And finally- is it worth doing them again next year? Does anyone have any recommendations on winter squash? I'd love to do pumpkins but I'm not sure I have the space..

mmmmmchocolate Thu 18-Aug-16 14:32:39

* shove- I know (not 'no' lol)

shovetheholly Thu 18-Aug-16 14:39:09

They sound like they've had the perfect treatment. Unfortunately, though, you can't make the weather warmer than it is or the sun brighter. smile

I would leave them for this year, since you've invested a lot of love. You never know how long the back end of the year will be these days. It may be that we go on into late October or even November with warm weather before we get a frost. Remember a couple of years back, there was weather in the 20s in late October? If that's the case, you might just get a fruit - less ripe ones are sometimes OK and can still be used up fairly quickly.

With a plant in good weather, you tend not to pick until late in the season anyway. Just make sure you keep an eye on the weather and get them in if there's a sign of frost.

I am officially giving up with squash. I've tried them 2 years running and not had anything. They do brilliantly for my Dad in the south east, but it's just too cold in Sheffield.

I might try some other roots instead - Peruvian ground apple (Yacon) and maybe skirret, Chinese artichokes.

mmmmmchocolate Thu 18-Aug-16 15:00:38

Hmm, I'll keep my fingers crossed for an Indian summer then! grin

I can always use what I get for Halloween or something.. Lol.

It's my first proper year really- planted fruit bushes/rasps last year. But everything else I'm learning as I go along. Plus I'm trying to do it all in a tiny back garden! It's ok though I have a million green tomatoes. don't really like tomatoes much 😂😂

I just thought these would be good to last through the winter. I'll have to move further south ;)

shovetheholly Thu 18-Aug-16 16:22:28

I know they're called "winter squash" but the plants don't actually stand past the first frosts. (The fruit just store for a long time).

There are veg that do stay in the garden over the frosty time of the year! Leeks, celeriac, kale, chard (in a mild year), some cabbages, some broccoli, and brussel sprouts (ew) will all cope.

Your back garden sounds like it'll be lovely!

mmmmmchocolate Thu 18-Aug-16 17:22:55

I meant I wanted a crop to store through the winter, lol I've been growing the buggers since march/april, the frost isn't killing them ;)

I looked at cabbages, sprouts etc but they needed to be in months ago so its too late for this year I think. The bed is only 3x1 metre, everything else is in pots.

Well it looks like a jungle at the moment I think my neighbour is judging me but I'm really pleased with how its turning out! I want more space now 😁

TaIkinPeace Thu 18-Aug-16 17:53:07

another vote for wait and see - I've had plants I thought were a dead loss and then a couple of warm weeks in late august and september gave me some nice little 6 inch fruit that stayed on the plant till the first cold night killed it

DoreenLethal Thu 18-Aug-16 18:04:21

The problem with too much feeding is lots of green growth and lot alot of fruiting. My butternuts are the biggest I've ever had, and still green - the biggest is around a foot long and I keep having to remember not to stand on it when sorting out one of the beds at work.

There is still time; I recommend giving them a tomato feed to try and get more flowers which should lead to more fruit.

DoreenLethal Thu 18-Aug-16 18:12:25

And NOT alot of fruiting...

mmmmmchocolate Thu 18-Aug-16 20:24:30

Ok thanks, I've given it a tomato feed so we shall see if I get anything!

bookbook Thu 18-Aug-16 21:34:09

My crown prince squashes are doing well - I have cut down so as to have 8 altogether ( 4 plants) . But not a one on my butternut squashes. Lots of flowers though. All in the same area. Mmm - tomato feed eh Doreen - may give it a go...

shovetheholly Fri 19-Aug-16 11:11:28

A foot long! You're amazing doreen

I'm going to try tomato feed too...

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