Are you planning to grow your butternut squash seeds? Did you know that there are certain things that you need to do for you to be able to grow your squash seeds, including how to prepare butternut squash seeds for planting?
If this is your first time to develop one, then knowing how will help you to grow your butternut squash seeds successfully.
What Is Butternut Squash?
A Native American gourd is what a butternut squash is. This type of seed is planted during the months of summer, but it can also be planted during the months of October and Novembers. One of the biggest producers of squash is Florida.
Butternut Squash Benefits
- Lowering Risk of Cancer: Since butternut squash is rich in beta-carotene, consuming it can help reduce the possibility of cancer. It can accurately contribute to reducing the risk of having colon cancer, while men who eat butternut squash can protect themselves against prostate cancer.
- Diabetes Management: People who are consuming butternut squash can help the ones with type 1 diabetics to lower the overall levels of their blood sugars, while type 2 diabetics have enhanced the levels of their insulin, lipids, and blood sugar. Consuming a cup of butternut squash will provide your body with 6.6 grams of fiber.
Now that you know the incredible benefits of consuming butternut squash seed, then knowing how to prepare butternut squash seeds for planting is essential.
4 Steps on How to Prepare Butternut Squash Seeds for Planting
Step 1: Collecting Seeds
The first thing that you need to do is to cut the squash open using a knife. You will have to collect all the seeds from a squash that is fully ripe.
You can do this to squashes that are not fully matured or to the ones that are fully matured. You can use a spoon to scoop them out and use a bucket to collect them all.seeds from a squash that is fully ripe.
Step 2: Pulp and Water
The next thing that you need to do is to pour a warm water to the bucket where the seeds are. You will be making a mixture of water and pulp.
Place the bucket near a window because it needs to be in a room where the air is circulating freely. You can leave them there for three to seven days, just make sure to swirl the mixture once in awhile.
Step 3: Collecting the Good Seeds
After a few days, you can start separating the bad seeds from the good ones. The bad ones will usually be the floating seeds so you won’t have a hard time distinguishing them.
Once you have removed the bad ones, start collecting the good seeds and wash them several times. Let the seeds dry using a screen or a paper towel.
Step 4: Storing the Seeds
Once they have all dried out, put them inside an envelope or a jar. Store them inside a freezer for a couple of days as this will help the pests to be killed. Move them to a dark and cool place while you are waiting for the planting season.
5 Steps on Planting Your Buttersquash Seed
Step 1: Warmed Soil
The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that your soil is warmed since a cold ground won't let the seeds germinate. This is the reason why it is best to plant during the summer season.
But you can always plant the seeds indoors while waiting for the summer months. Just make sure to keep the soil warm and moist while you’re waiting for warmer weather.
You should note that loosened the soil before sowing, use a small tiller to save if your soil is not too hard.
Step 2: Choosing the Spot
The next thing that you need to do is to pick a place in your garden where you want to plant the seeds.
Butternut squash thrives warmer weathers; it would be best to plant them where the sunlight is. As this will help the seeds to ripen in time.
Step 3: Enriching the Soil
Enriching the soil is necessary because the seeds of a butternut squash’s soil need to be a well-draining one. Check your ground if it’s poor so you can add compost to it.
You also need to remember to allot at least three square feet of soil per plant, to allow more time for the plant to grow freely.
Step 4: Planting the Seeds
Another technique that you can do is to plant them in small hills. You can start creating 7.6 cm or 3 inches in height for each of the seed that you are going to plant.
Just remember to leave spaces of up to three feet between the seeds. Once you have planted the seeds, make sure to cover them with soil and lightly pat the area.
Step 5: Mulching the Beds
Mulching the beds is the next step here. You need to spread mulch or pine straw over the beds of your squash. You need to do this as this will protect the growing seeds that you have.
Caring for Your Growing Butternut Squash
- Watering: To be able to keep the soil moist, it is essential to water your plants regularly the entire summer. Once you notice the soil is getting dry, it would be best to wet the leaves immediately as this will avoid sunburn and powdery mildew.
- Early Blossoms: There will always be few squashes that will blossom first, which are typically the male ones. You can pick and eat them out first as this won’t affect the plants’ health. You can add the blossoms to your stir-fries or your salads. You can also wait for them just to fall off after a week of blooming.
The second set of the blooms are females, and they usually grow above the tiny fruits of the butternut squash. You may leave the female ones on the plant's vines itself.
- Keep Away the Pests: You may notice that insects will start to appear at the end of plants’ growing stage. If you see squash bugs, squash borers, or striped cucumber beetles, it would be best to remove them immediately from your plant. You can do this by directly picking them and crushing them with your hands. Now, if there are vine borers inside the plant stalks, I’m afraid that you might not be able to save the squash plants anymore.
Harvesting Your Butternut Squash
- Wait Until Fully Ripe: Before harvesting the plant, make sure that it is fully mature. You can do this by pressing your finger to the squash, just make sure not to overdo it to avoid denting the fruit. If the surface it already hard to avoid ruining the squash itself.
- Harvesting before Winter: When harvesting the squash, make sure to collect them before the winter season or before the colder weather comes. The reason behind this is because the squash will rot quicker if you let them froze or get exposed to colder weather.
- Cutting the Vines: When harvesting your squashed, the first thing that you need to do is to cut the squash from their vines. You can use a knife to do this but make sure to leave a little stem on the squash. Once you have cut them, immediately take the squash inside so you can wash away the dirt. Avoid leaving them outside as insects might infest them.
- Storing the Squash: Now that your squashes are ripe, and you have already harvested them, it would be nice to store them in a dry and cool place. The squash can be stored for months, for as long as you store them properly.
Read more: When To Pick Butternut Squash
Watch this video for you to be able to visualize on how to prepare butternut squash seeds for planting.
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