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Pruning squash?

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Pruning squash?

Post  stephproffitt on 7/31/2012, 10:28 am

Does anyone know if you can prune butternut squash. I have four plants, and I gave them the space required according to the book, but I didn't trellis them. I have trained most of the runners to go outside my box,but there are a couple that have crowded my broccoli and are killing it.

Would pruning help my situation, if so how do I prune a squash? Only one of the plants has a fruit, so I was thinking about replanting for fall anyway.

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Re: Pruning squash?

Post  littlesapphire on 7/31/2012, 10:37 am

I know you are supposed to trim the tops of the vine at the end of the season to help the squash on the vine fully ripen, but since you only have one squash I dont think you should do that. Quite honestly, I think the best option is to find some way of getting the vine off the ground. There are lots of ways to trellis plants. Try searching for ideas in the forum.

Also, winter squash takes forever to mature, so I don't think you'll actually get anything if you plant more seeds so late in the season. To get a fall crop of winter squash, you have to plant them in the spring. Now summer squash... You might be able to get away with planting that now.

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Re: Pruning squash?

Post  stephproffitt on 7/31/2012, 11:44 am

I meant take the squash that aren't producing out and replace with a crop better suited for fall like kale.

I think my vines have gotten too mature to trellis at this point, but I plan to do it next year. Plus, I have to keep my box enclosed with chicken wire because my three dogs have an affinity for broccoli plants. I started with 12. I have 7 now.



What you can't see with this image is where I have trained the squash to go outside the box (when they were young), but some of them got away from me and have started overcrowding my other plants. I guess I will just experiment. I mean it is already August practically and I only have one plant with a squash so I doubt anymore will have time to fully ripen.

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Re: Pruning squash?

Post  Turan on 7/31/2012, 12:20 pm

I think you have plenty of time for winter squash to set and fully ripen. At least I know I do and I have a shorter season than you. My winter squash are just beginning to bloom and have not set fruit yet. This is my normal, yet I almost always end up with a wheel barrow load from 4 hills. You can prune the vines that are smothering the broccoli, keep the vines that are running through the grass etc. The nice thing about not trellising winter squash is that they are very susceptible to hail, grass protects them.

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Re: Pruning squash?

Post  greatgranny on 8/31/2012, 3:02 pm

I have butternut squash and have a few that are going to make it before frost. However, there are small ones - about 3 inches long and green. Should I prune the plant back to the small ones to give the plant a chance or should I also prune the small ones out so that the large ones can finish?

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Re: Pruning squash?

Post  Turan on 9/1/2012, 6:27 pm

@greatgranny wrote:I have butternut squash and have a few that are going to make it before frost. However, there are small ones - about 3 inches long and green. Should I prune the plant back to the small ones to give the plant a chance or should I also prune the small ones out so that the large ones can finish?

I have heard of both methods but have not tried either. You can eat the green soft squashes like a summer squash.
When a hard frost comes that finishes the vines I carry all the fruits inside and heap them in the living room. The smallest greenest I use right away like summer squash.

Maybe some one who has trained theirs up a trellis has more experience with trimming..

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Re: Pruning squash?

Post  greatgranny on 9/1/2012, 8:03 pm

I think I'll prune to the small ones and see what happens. I like you suggestion to use the green ones like summer squash. Might make some good stir fry with them. Thanks.

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