Butternut squash which is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family along with gourds and pumpkins is a type of winter squash. The plant of butternut squash tends to grow on a trailing vine and it is fairly easy to grow especially from seed. Butternut squash spacing is what we will be discussing in this post.
Butternut squash is an annual plant and it can do well and grow well in almost any climate. The best period to plant butternut squash is in spring that following the last frost of the season. It can take about three to four months from planting for the fruit of butternut squash to be ready for picking.
Now because the vines of butternut squash are inclined to grow faster, it is appropriate you get to know the right spacing for this plant. Butternut squash spacing is what you will learn about in this post. We will also touch on some other related aspects concerning butternut.
Identifying Squash Plants By Leaves
Identifying Squash Plants By Leaves
Growing Butternut Squash
Before we look into butternut squash spacing, let’s first look into how to grow this plant the right way.
· Seed Sowing
The seed of butternut squash can be commenced either indoors or outdoors. We recommend you start your seeds indoors if the warm season in your region is short.
So, indoor seeds should be commenced indoor at least six weeks before the expected last frost. Ideally, two seeds should be sown per pot or container then once seedlings begin to sprout thin one of them. Ensure you position your plant in a sunny window or a greenhouse.
Then make sure you harden off your seedlings before transplanting outdoors once the danger of frost has elapsed.
Alternatively, you can sow the seeds of butternut squash outdoors directly into the soil. Just make sure the danger of frost has elapsed and the soil is warm properly. A temperature of about 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is safe enough for seed sowing. This is a crucial thing to note because the seeds of butternut squash are very fragile and will only germinate in warm soil.
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· Prioritize Sunny Spot – Butternut Squash Spacing
The plant of butternut squash will do excellently well in a sunny spot so ensure you prioritize a sunny area. Full sunlight is what this plant required, but at least 6 hours of sunlight is required by the butternut squash plant daily should do fine.
The plant can even benefit from more time under sunlight but just make sure the plant isn’t overheated.
· Soil Preparation And Fertilization
They will do well in well-draining soil. Butternut plants are heavy feeders so ensure you prepare your soil with adequate organic matter. You can start by using very rich soil. Then during the middle of the growing season, you can go ahead and side dress the soil with organic compost or aged manure.
Soil can be slightly acidic to neutral and the pH can range around 5.5 to 7.0.
· Create A Hill
Most vining vegetables are grown using a hill, so butternut squash can also be grown on a hill. You should gather the soil to form a small hill of about 18 inches tall and do these before you grow your seeds.
Then go ahead and bury the seed below the soil surface. The seeds should be sown in a group of 4 to 6 and they should be sown into the soil about half an inch or one inch deep.
· Water Your Plant – Butternut Squash Spacing
Ensure you water tour butternut squash adequately and aim for moist soil but avoid soggy soil. Watering when the seedling is young is more necessary because, at this stage, they are more susceptible to drought. It is crucial you don’t allow the seedlings of butternut squash to dry out.
Also, avoid splashing water all over the plant so the leaves can stay dry. So, aim to water the base of the plant, especially the soil.
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Butternut Squash Spacing: Guide On The Ideal Spacing
When it comes to the spacing of butternut squash, this plant can take some good space. They are a rapidly growing trailing vine plant.
Also, butternut squash is more susceptible to some diseases such as powdery mildew. This is a fungus disease that changes the color of the leave to grayish-white. This is why it is again important to space this plant properly.
So, for this reason, it is logical for you to know the appropriate spacing for the plant so it can grow optimally.
So, as you plant your butternut seeds in a group, ensure you space the seeds about 4 inches apart. This will prevent overcrowding once the butternut squash plant begins to grow.
Then if you’re making use of hills to grow your butternut squash, try to space each hill to at least 8 feet apart.
You can also get the ideal spacing requirement from the pack of your butternut squash.
Apart from the proper spacing of the butternut squash, it is important to also thin this plant. Thinning can help increase air circulation around the plant thereby minimizing the susceptibility of butternut squash plants from getting diseases.
Growing Butternut Squash In Containers
You may be wondering if it’s possible to grow butternut squash in containers since this plant grows fast and requires enough space.
Although butternut squash requires adequate space to grow, it is still possible to grow this squash in a container and get a decent result or harvest. This can even be beneficial to you if you are short of space and you wish to grow this squash.
Also, this plant doesn’t have large, extended roots so they don’t extend their root so much. So, this makes it possible for this plant to be grown in a container.
Final Thoughts On Butternut Squash Spacing
Butternut squash spacing is an important thing to take note of when you have decided to grow this squash. We have explained the ideal spacing requirements for this great tasting squash so do well to follow the right spacing when planting butternut.
How far apart should you plant butternut squash?
Spacing is important in butternut squash planting because this will help your plant grow optimally. When planting butternut squash using hills, the ideal spacing for each hill should be about8 feet. Then the spacing for each seed in a hill should be about 4 inches apart.
What happens if you plant squash too close together?
Planting butternut too close can cause overcrowding which will be unhealthy for the plant. Again, planting butternut squash too close together is not recommended because this can predispose the plant to fungus diseases such as powdery mildew.