This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

butternut squash harvest

buttternut squash harvest

This is my butternut squash harvest this year! Minus the 3 I've already given away. 23 squashes - 60 pounds total. I'm looking forward to enjoying lots of squash this winter.

I had 5 plants, I think. So that's 4 or 5 squash per plant each averaging 2 1/2 lbs. The biggest squash are 4-5 lbs and the smallest ones are just over 1 lb. I think my yield is actually lower than what's advertised for this squash. Seems pretty amazing to me!

The variety I grew is the original Waltham Butternut. It was introduced in 1970 by the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) in Waltham. The squash originated in Stow, Massachusetts, on what is now the Butternut Farm Golf Club. You can read about it's development here.

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Blogger Chiot's Run said...

MMMM, that's a great harvest. I hope I get that many.

September 09, 2009 10:06 PM

Blogger Michelle said...

WOW! Good "growing"!! I just saw another recipe for butternut squash today on Everyday Italian with was a beef and butternut looked really good! Here's a link! With all of these recipes I'm finding I think I need to grow some butternut squash next year!

September 09, 2009 11:17 PM

Anonymous Soilman said...

Incredible harvest. I'm totally awed. Have never got anything like that yield from my plants...

September 10, 2009 8:34 AM

Blogger TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Wow. I got two. Two! From three plants. I'd never grown butternut before and planted them way too close together--all the various curcurbitae relatives ate each other.

September 10, 2009 8:52 AM

Blogger Susan said...

So jealous! What are your secrets to a good crop?!

September 10, 2009 10:30 AM

Anonymous Taylor said...

Holy Moses! These are perfect!

September 10, 2009 11:56 AM

Blogger Tina said...

Wow, they look great! Might try some next year, too.

September 10, 2009 1:21 PM

Anonymous Brittney said...

I'm so impressed! I have one! One lone butternut squash. I live in WA and we've had an amazing summer so I'm surprised at the low yield. I planted the squash the same time as the zucchini and cucumber and I can hardly keep up with those crops. What's your secret? GREAT job!!

September 10, 2009 2:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic! They look tasty! Going to the local farmer's market in western mass to get some goodies...I totally want your baskets by the way.


September 10, 2009 2:36 PM

Blogger Dan said...

Wow Kathy, that is a harvest to make a gardener proud! They truly are productive.

September 10, 2009 6:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! what an impressive harvest - I had a great butternut squash yield also - quick question - how are you going to store them? i've done some research saying you need to cure them. are you going to do that? how? thanks

September 10, 2009 7:09 PM

Anonymous Lisa A. said...

Wow, congrats. You hit the squash motherlode.

September 10, 2009 9:40 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I have no idea what the secret was. Pretty standard growing conditions. Plants were started under lights from mail order seed from Sand Hill Preservation Center. I planted them around April 19 and transplanted them to the garden around May 25. I planted them in soil that has never been gardened before. Its new space that we reclaimed last fall with enormous effort to remove rocks and tree stumps by hand. Early this spring (March), we added a lot of fresh horse manure and compost and turned this in. They were planted in the corner of a bed between tomatoes and asparagus. They grew rampant over everything. Vines are about 20 feet long each spreading out in a different direction. I fertilized once mid-season with Miracle-Gro. Of course, they were well watered this year by rain. That's it. All of my growing secrets.

I think the basket is from Crate and Barrel about 20 years ago.

I did not cure them. I just picked them when they turned pale and the green stripes at the top went away. This may have been a mistake. As I read now, winter squash and pumpkins normally are not harvested until the rind or skin is completely hardened by waiting until just before the frost. After this, they should be cured at a temperature of 80°F to 85°F, with a relative humidity of 80 to 85% for 10 days. These conditions can often be met in the field, but if cool, wet weather is present, they should be brought under shelter and cured with heat by stoves or other artificial means. At the end of the 10-day period, the
humidity should be lowered to about 50 to 70% and the temperature kept between 50°F and 60°F. They keep best in a single layer.

If we get warm weather soon, I'll put them out in the sun a while to cure. But we have cool rainy weather (as usual) now.

I figure I'll keep 5-6 of them. I'll need to look up some recipes, though I could eat my favorite, pureed squash with sweet potatoes, all winter.

September 10, 2009 10:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful harvest!

September 11, 2009 12:15 PM

Blogger PainChaud said...

Oh wow that's great!!! I'm gonna try those out next I guess 4 plants should be enough. Did you know that they can keep at room temperature a few months (more if they had a frost)..atleast that's what I read.

September 11, 2009 6:29 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes, I read too late that I probably should have left them on the vine longer. Though a hard frost is not good for them, so its a bit of a risk to leave them out.

September 11, 2009 9:34 PM

Blogger Mrs. Finch said...

We were able to keep cured ones in our unheated entry way for months and months. Spaghetti squash kept longer, acorn squash kept shorter, and butternut was in between. We ate a spaghetti squash 6 months after we had harvested it, not bad!

September 17, 2009 3:56 PM


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