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Butternut Squash--how long?

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Post  milaneyjane on 8/27/2011, 12:19 am

I started my seeds indoors and had good size plants when I transplanted my butternut squash outdoors the middle part of May. I am soooo glad I put them in the regular garden. I think I planted 9 of them and they have completely filled in a 20 foot by probably 15 foot section of the garden---it looks gorgeous even though I had to trim off several vines that had escaped the garden, pulled down my dahlia bushes, continued through my wave petunias and out into the lawn, LOL!. The plants are still setting fruit---in fact more now than earlier in the summer. I think it has to do with more male flowers are grown initially before female. Anyway, to finally get to my question, how long does it take a butternut squash "fruit" to grow and ripen? They are in full sun. Should I stop any new squash from growing? Will they have time to mature in the next 30 days or so? I would hate to have them not be able to ripen by the time we have our first frost. I can't find anywhere where it actually says how long it takes a squash (not the whole plant) to mature.
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Post  Chopper on 8/27/2011, 2:27 am

I do not have definitive answers for you but I do remember my butternuts took what seemed like FOREVER. That said if you planted in May they should be ripe soonest. If you have new ones just forming it might be a good idea to pinch them off and let the plant concentrate on the ones that are almost ready. However, you will never know unless you let them go and see what happens. Very Happy
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Post  HouseofWool on 8/27/2011, 8:36 am

I have several plants that have taken over everything, even though they are trellised. Lately, I have been removing the newly set fruit and the terminal ends of the vines to inhibit further growth. We have close to 20 squash that will mature (hopefully). Most have already started to turn tan. I've read that you need to leave them until the stems turn brown. I am wondering if the cooler night-times temps will help stress the plants enough to ripen the fruit.

Mostly, I am wondering when I can pick my watermelon. I don't like that there isn't any really obvious signs of when they are ripe.
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