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A picture of a Butternut 'Barbara'

Butternut 'Barbara'

Cucurbita moschata 'Barbara'

Also known as

Botterskorsie (Afr.)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

13b

USDA zone

18°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

40cm

Max

2m

20cm

Min

1m

6 months to reach maturity

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Harvest from about 2 months after sowing. 85 – 95 days to harvest as mature fruit.

Overview

Butternuts are hardy squashes that can be stored for a long time. The Barbara butternut has a high flesh to seed ratio. This variety's skin has a slightly mottled green stripe.

Common problems

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.

Companion plants

Maize when companion-planted with squash or pumpkin is said to disorient certain insects pests and protect the vining crop. Pumpkins require a lot of nitrogen so planting nitrogen fixing beans alongside with help to keep this nutrient readily available.

Propagation

Seed

Directly sow seeds 2 cm deep and 60 - 90 cm apart in late spring or early summer after the last frost dates have past. 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. They can be started in 5cm pots in heated propagators and grown indoors until frosts have passed. You may need to pot on before hardening them off slowly ready to be planted into their final position.

Special Features

Attracts useful insects

Bees are one of the pollinators.

Attractive fruits

Crop rotation

Heavy Feeder, companion plant with beans or legumes to provide food.

Uses

Culinary

Edible

Flowers make a lovely beer butter - use the male ones! Fruits are often prepared like pumpkins - baked, roasted or grilled. Soups or braai side dish with feta and spinach is also popular.