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Old 08-18-2014, 09:58 PM
 
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I started a compost pile and was tending it well. Then ignored it for quite a while. I went out there and this huge plant had taken over. I think it butternut squash, but I'm not sure.

Well, here it is:



What do you think? I'm in hardiness zone 6a. If it is butternut, which would be my preference, when do you think it will ripen. It's on the east side of my house, so it only gets morning sun. I've never timed it, so I don't know exactly how much that is.

If I cut the leaves over the fruit, will they ripen faster?
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:04 PM
 
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I had to remove the images as there was personal information in them that I prefer not to share on the website. I'll figure out how to post images another way. I hope.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:18 PM
 
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Here we go:

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:29 PM
 
Location: CO
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Wow, that's quite a surprise from your compost pile! I'm no expert on veggies but it sure looks like butternut squash to me too. Someone else will have to tell you about ripening time. I think I'd let the leaves alone though.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:14 AM
 
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Now THAT is cool. Lookit the size on that butternut!
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
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It is always such a pleasant surprise when "volunteer veggies" springs up from the compost pile! Your butternut squash looks amazing and the plant looks very healthy!

To answer your questions, it looks like it will have plenty of time to ripen and NO...I would not cut any leaves to hasten ripening. But what I would do is look for other little squash buds and pinch them off of the same vine. No more than 3 maximum if you want them to ripen before the growing season ends. You really want the plant to put as much energy into the fruit that is already there instead of diverting that same energy to grow more fruit. And because squash are heavy feeders, you may also want to side dress with a low-nitrogen fertilizer and water well.

That squash looks to be about 45-60 days old and you will need about 100+ days before harvest. Being in Zone 6, your first frost date is approx Oct 15th which means you've got about 60 more growing days, more than enough for the squash to ripen, even if it's on the early end...unless I'm completely off on the maturity...

Please let us know how it turns out!

RVcook

Last edited by RVcook; 08-19-2014 at 09:48 AM..
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
Now THAT is cool. Lookit the size on that butternut!
It's butternut! Yay!

I've never had a successful garden before, so now I know I can grow butternut squash.

I have a problem though. This house is a rental and we will be closing on a purchased home on the 12th of September. Of course it will take us some time to move - probably, at least, until the end of September. Our average first frost is 9/16 and I've read that butternuts will be fine with light frost.

I only found one other one of similar size and several small ones and a lot of flowers. Because of the location, it doesn't get full sun until around 9:00 or maybe a little earlier.

I need to know what will hasten their ripening on the vine more quickly. Should I be trimming back leaves since it doesn't get the worst sun of the day? Would that help?
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: South Central Texas
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That's great! Better steer it away from your A/C unit.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Some of the best potatoes I ever had grew up in an old compost bin.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
It is always such a pleasant surprise when "volunteer veggies" springs up from the compost pile! Your butternut squash looks amazing and the plant looks very healthy!

To answer your questions, it looks like it will have plenty of time to ripen and NO...I would not cut any leaves to hasten ripening. But what I would do is look for other little squash buds and pinch them off of the same vine. No more than 3 maximum if you want them to ripen before the growing season ends. You really want the plant to put as much energy into the fruit that is already there instead of diverting that same energy to grow more fruit. And because squash are heavy feeders, you may also want to side dress with a low-nitrogen fertilizer and water well.

That squash looks to be about 45-60 days old and you will need about 100+ days before harvest. Being in Zone 6, your first frost date is approx Oct 15th which means you've got about 60 more growing days, more than enough for the squash to ripen, even if it's on the early end...unless I'm completely off on the maturity...

Please let us know how it turns out!

RVcook
I went out and pinched of the buds and anything that didn't resemble a butternut squash. If I trim back some of the vines - the ones that are a bit too long, will that assist with it growing healthy fruit more easily?
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