- Features: One of the easiest and fastest squash to grow. This bulbous shaped squash is ready to harvest when it turns a lemon-yellow colour with a slightly bent neck, hence its name crookneck. As with many vegetables, it is less tender as it ages and grows.
- Maturity: 53 days / fruit is 15cm (6") in length.
- Light: Plant in full sun.
- Soil and water: Well drained, nutrient rich soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. You can add a combination of compost and organic matter to help nurture the plant. Water as needed.
- Spacing: Plant 1.2m (4') apart to allow the vines to climb.
- Height: Vine length varies.
- Garden use: Vegetable gardens or raised beds.
- Growing tips: Harvest this squash when the skin is still soft. Regular harvesting will keep the plant producing more fruit.
- Culinary use: Steamed, baked, broiled, soups. Has a slightly nutty flavour.
Harvesting and storage - You may harvest yellow squash, zucchini, and other types of summer squash as baby squash, or you can cut them larger, up to 15-20cm (6-8") long. Use a sharp knife to harvest every other day while the plants are producing. Remove overripe squash as soon as possible to reduce demands on the plants for moisture and nutrients. Summer squash also work well when dried. You can store butternut squash fruits for the winter. As butternut plants turn yellow in the fall, gather the fruits and wipe them clean to reduce spoilage. Move indoors for storage before freezing weather.
When the rinds of winter squash are tough enough to resist being punctured with a fingernail, cut them with a short stub of vine attached. Be patient, because only fully ripened squash will keep for months in storage. Wipe fruits clean with a damp cloth, and store them in a basement or other cool place. Until you are ready to cook pretty acorns or butternuts, it’s fine to include them in fall table decorations.