Burgess Buttercup Squash
Burgess Buttercup Squash is a winter squash variety known for its sweet, fine-textured flesh and dark green skin with a distinctive, light-coloured “cap.” This versatile squash is perfect for roasting, baking, and using in soups and stews. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to planting, growing, harvesting, and storing Burgess Buttercup Squash, ensuring a bountiful harvest for your garden.
|Days to Grow||85-100 days|
|Square Foot Garden Spacing||1 plant per 9 square feet|
|When to Plant||2-4 weeks after the last frost date|
|Yield||3-4 squashes per plant|
|Frost Tolerance||Not frost-tolerant|
|Hours of Light Needed||6-8 hours of direct sunlight|
|Soil Conditions||Well-draining soil, pH 6.0-6.8|
|Days to Maturity||85-100 days|
Selecting and Preparing the Site for Planting
- Choose the right location: Select a site with well-draining soil and full sun exposure (6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day). The ideal soil pH for growing Burgess Buttercup Squash is between 6.0 and 6.8.
- Prepare the soil: Before planting, till the soil to a depth of 12 inches, removing any rocks and debris. Incorporate 2-4 inches of compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and structure.
- Plan the layout: Plant Burgess Buttercup Squash in rows or hills, with a spacing of 3-4 feet between plants and 6-8 feet between rows or hills. This spacing will ensure adequate airflow and room for vine growth.
Planting Burgess Buttercup Squash Seeds and Seedlings
When to plant: Plant Burgess Buttercup Squash seeds directly in the ground when the soil temperature reaches 60°F, typically 2-4 weeks after the last frost date. Alternatively, start seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost and transplant seedlings outside after the soil has warmed.
How to plant seeds: Sow seeds 1 inch deep in prepared soil. In rows, plant seeds 3-4 inches apart, later thinning to the desired spacing. For hills, plant 4-5 seeds in a circle, later thinning to the two most vigorous seedlings.
Transplanting seedlings: If you started seeds indoors, transplant seedlings when they have 2-3 true leaves and the soil has warmed. Harden off seedlings by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions for 7-10 days before transplanting. Space seedlings 3-4 feet apart in rows or hills.
Caring for Your Burgess Buttercup Squash Plants
- Watering: Provide 1-2 inches of water per week through rainfall or supplemental irrigation—water deeply and consistently, avoiding wetting the foliage to reduce the risk of disease.
- Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer at planting time and again when the plants begin to flower. Use a side-dressing of compost or well-rotted manure to add nutrients throughout the growing season.
- Mulching: Apply a 2-4 inch layer of organic mulch, such as straw or shredded leaves, around the base of the plants. This will help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
- Pest and disease management: Inspect plants regularly for signs of pests, such as squash bugs or cucumber beetles, and treat them with appropriate organic or chemical controls as needed. Practice crop rotation and clean up plant debris to reduce the risk of diseases like powdery mildew and bacterial wilt.
Harvesting Burgess Buttercup Squash
- When to harvest: Harvest Burgess Buttercup Squash when the rind is hard, and the fruit has developed a deep green colour with a light-coloured “cap.” This typically occurs 85-100 days after planting.
- How to harvest: Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the squash from the vine, leaving 1-2 inches of stem attached. Be careful not to damage the stem, as this can lead to rot.
- Post-harvest handling: Allow harvested squash to cure in the sun for 5-7 days or until the stem is dry and the skin is hard. This curing process helps improve storage life.
Storing Burgess Buttercup Squash
- Ideal storage conditions: Store Burgess Buttercup Squash in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area with temperatures between 50-60°F and humidity levels between 60-70%. A basement, root cellar, or unheated garage can provide suitable storage conditions.
- Proper storage techniques: Place the squash on shelves or racks, ensuring they do not touch each other. This promotes airflow and prevents the spread of rot.
- Storage duration: Under ideal conditions, Burgess Buttercup Squash can be stored for 3-4 months. Check the squash regularly for signs of rot or deterioration and use them as soon as possible if any issues arise.
In conclusion, planting, growing, harvesting, and storing Burgess Buttercup Squash can be a rewarding endeavour for any gardener. By following these detailed guidelines, you will be well on your way to enjoying a bountiful harvest of delicious, nutritious squash from your garden.
Seeds and planting
Links and Resources
(These are some of what I use)
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)
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.