Buttercup Squash

Burgess Buttercup Squash

Buttercup squash is a favourite winter squash which stores very well, has a rich, sweet flavour and is easily grown here in NW Ontario. There are a few varieties; however, the Burgess Buttercup has always been my preferred. With an 85-day maturity time, they are well within our 100-day growing season.

The Burgess Buttercup Squash has a distinct, sweet, and rich flavour that is often described as a combination of sweet potato and sweet pumpkin with a hint of nuttiness. The flavour is slightly earthy, with a natural sweetness that intensifies when cooked.

The texture of the Burgess Buttercup Squash is smooth, dense, and creamy, which makes it perfect for various dishes. When cooked, the flesh becomes tender and velvety, easily melting in your mouth. The firm texture holds up well in soups, stews, and casseroles, while its creaminess makes it ideal for purees, pies, and custards. Overall, the Burgess Buttercup Squash is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can add depth and sweetness to various dishes.

I associate the Burgess Buttercup with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

As with most squash plants, germination requires warmer soil. It is recommended you start the seeds indoors 4-5 weeks before the last frost day. This will allow them to germinate on the lovely hot windowsill. You could also plant them outside using a cold frame or soil-warming system.

Outside transplanting should occur a week or two after the last frost or when the soil is consistently warm.
Square foot Garden rules suggest one plant per square foot. As with most squash, buttercup squash can be easily trellised up a 45-degree sloped trellis to maximize garden space. Trellising also keeps the fruit off the ground.
The Buttercup squash has a thick green skin and will store for months in a dry, cool place. They are a favourite for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

An angled trellis is a great way to save space when growing pretty much any squash that vine. The vines love to climb things and spread out; by going in vertically you can keep your squash plants somewhat contained in as little as a 4×6 foot area (four plants in this area), as demonstrated in this picture.

Grow bags on trellises

Growing squash in grow bags with trellis

The 2 foot by four-foot garden box obscured on the left has four squash plants. An angled trellis made from 2×2 and snow fence. The snow-fenced trellis area can be up to 8 feet by 4 feet across (32 square feet), which on an angle will only take up 16 square feet of ground space. The verticle supports are also made of 2×2 and will allow the vines to hang down, adding another 3-4 feet of off-the-ground growing.

Seeds and planting
Links and Resources

Recommended Products
(These are some of what I use)

These nursery bags
These Grow bags


mybackyard.ca Seeds Page
Get a Head Start on Spring: The Benefits of Starting Your Seeds Indoors
Saving Vegetable Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide to Gardening Success
myBackyard.ca Planting Guide
Pollock Tomatoes (North hardy Tomato variety)
Tomatoes (Useful information on starting tomatoes from seed)

DIY Garden Irrigation System: A Detailed Guide for Northwest Ontario

Blog Posts

When to start planting seeds
Germination testing your seeds
Looking for sources for seeds?
Heirloom seeds
Chitting your way to more potatoes
So it's before the first frost; what can I plant?


Individual seed and plant information is available in the  "Gardening Shortcut Links" above under "North Hardy Plants to grow". I have successfully grown all of these, and most I grow year to year.







myBackyard is for recreational purposes only. Plants, mushrooms and berries cannot be 100% identified through this website alone. It is up to the reader to properly identify plants, fungi and trees. Some wild plants, berries and mushrooms are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. Even those listed as edible may cause adverse reactions in individuals.

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