I got my seeds on Saturday feb 28th, I have been gifted with 80 seeds. see my general instructions below.
I have sent you a mix of seeds for short season butternuts to be grown out and selected for best fruit. Within this are some of my own seeds that have already gone through one season of selection but there are other varieties including Greta’s Canadian Crookneck and so forth.
For those of you that have less experience growing butternut, they are a good storage squash, with medium hard skin and solid stems resistant to squash vine borer and fine sweet flavoured flesh. Some are used as a zucchini such as trombocino (I didn’t include these seeds as it’s a separate project but could be a side observation for those interested). They have a reputation as fruiting later than some of the other species but grow well for me in this climate.
Plant after last frost in warm soil or pre start no more than 4 weeks early I’d say if you have issues with soil or pests that would warrant that. I have not done any fertility amendment with mine but started with bermed beds so there was inherent fertility. I also rotate where I grow my vining crops. My squash are usually in the soil by late May (weather dependent) but I know some of you may not be able to get them in the ground until June so you might want to give them a few weeks headstart or do half and half to see if direct seeding is a priority for your purposes. As plants will vary in size, I can’t say exactly what spacing should be but at least 4 feet.
Please include your goals but I’d say the first goals are:
b) good shape for use
d) disease resistance
e) sprouting in cool soil potentially for some of you.
Pictures throughout the season would be GREAT! That way if you have questions or issues, we can comment on them and also as a way of documenting your growing techniques.
At the end of the season, post a picture of your harvest or send in any info you may have collected including date of sowing, spacing, seeds sown, germination rates, growth rates, flower dates, fruit set and so forth. We’ll also keep a record of weather. Also record your soil type or any other about your growing conditions such as whether they were grown in part sun (urban consideration) or were irrigated.
Send back about the same amount (or a larger amount if possible) of seed you were given from a mix of your best fruit. So best to wait until you have used all your best fruit and collect the seeds from them, dry really well and then put in a jar to mix them around. Try to rouge out any seed that is damaged, diseased or empty.
Thank you!!! Looking forward to doing this project with all of you.