Butternut squashes are ready to harvest 110 -120 days after sowing. To check for harvesting look at the skin, the skin turns hard and is difficult to pierce with your thumbnail when it is ready to be picked.
Waltham Butternut Overview
Waltham butternut or as it is known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin or gramma, can be grown as a winter squash (it's long shelve life will store well into winter). It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. The skin is tan-yellow and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. The name 'butternut' comes from the interior being as smooth as butter and sweet as a nut, hence it was called the ‘butternut’. It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium; and it is an excellent source of vitamin A.
Common problems with Waltham Butternut
Watch carefully for bugs and when the need arises, use insecticidal soap or apply insecticides in the evening when the bees have returned to the hive since bees are essential to growing butternut squash successfully. Look out for pumpkin fly.
Waltham Butternut Companion Plants
Maize when companion-planted with squash or pumpkin is said to disorient certain insects pests and protect the vining crop. Pumpkins and beans work well together. The nitrogen fixing qualities of the beans are well documented and pumpkin is a heavy nitrogen feeder. Marigold inter-planted with pumpkin helps to deter many pests. Marjoram, Nasturtium, Oregano will also help in pest suppression. The marjoram will provide a ground cover/mulch as well. Nasturtium also repels squash bugs, and striped pumpkin beetles.
How to propagate Waltham Butternut
Directly sow seeds 2 cm deep and 60 - 90 cm apart in early Spring after the last frost dates have pasted. Place them at a slight angle to allow water to run off. Germination within 7-10 days. Butternut squash plants are extremely tender and the seedlings will freeze with the slightest frost and seeds will only germinate in warm soil.
Special features of Waltham Butternut
Heavy Feeder, companion plant with beans or legumes to provide food.
Attracts useful insects
Bees are needed to pollinate the flowers.
Other uses of Waltham Butternut
The fruit, flowers and seeds are edible. Mostly used in cooking and baking, but can be eaten raw.