- Sun: Full sun
- Harvest Size: 3 to 5 pounds
- Days to Harvest: 95
- Plant Size: Long vine
A little larger than acorn varieties but similar in appearance, buttercup squash has deep-orange, string-free flesh with rich, sweet flavor. Each vine bears 3 to 4 dark green fruits with a gray “button” on the blossom end.
Winter squash is frost-sensitive. Plant in late spring after all danger of frost is passed. In cooler regions, warm the soil first using black plastic, then cut holes for planting. Harvest squash before the first frost.
Plant spacing: 4 feet apart. Plants per person: 2 to 3 for fresh and storage.
Secrets to Success »
Buttercup is a vine that needs plenty of space to run. Save space by growing it on a fence or trellis. Winter squash grow much like summer squash but require even more sun, food, and water. Prepare the soil with a 3-inch layer of compost and a time-released or organic fertilizer. Water well, and feed with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food.
Harvest and Use »
Let all winter squash fully ripen on the vine for better storing. Harvest when the exterior is tough enough to resist puncturing by your fingernail. Wipe squash clean and store in a cool place or use for table decorations until you’re ready to eat them. Like acorn squash, buttercup is best baked “in the half shell”; cut in half lengthwise and bake the two halves, topped with butter and brown sugar if you like, though the squash is very tasty on its own.
Try These Garden Companions »
- Other winter squash: butternut, Blue Hubbard, acorn, and spaghetti.
- Greens: Swiss chard, mustard, turnip, arugula, collards.
- Cool-season herbs: rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage, sweet marjoram, oregano, parsley.