Familiar with buttercup squash?

ClareBroommaker's picture

How long do buttercup vines grow? Can they be trellised a little? A lot?

The plan is to plant seed saved from grocery store squash-- buttercup (not butternut). When growing vining squash I like to prepare the soil only where I plant the seeds, so that the vines will just grow out over adjacent grass & weeds, which conserves my energy and the surrounding soil. However, I have only one area left to plant my seeds and am trying to get an idea whether buttercup vines will grow so long that they encroach on other plants or grow out into the street.

Also can luffa and buttercup cross pollinate? Luffa is fairly close, but I would not want them to cross.

Blueberry's picture

Tried to grow them years ago but could not keep the deer from eating them. Place 1/2 inch hardware cloth cages around the fruit so they went after the vines.

ClareBroommaker's picture

Deer are a rarity in this area, though it is during the flood conditions such as we are having that they are most likely to make it this deep into the city. Mostly, birds, rabbits, and squirrels are my wildlife garden eaters. I keep a stack of small boxes made from poultry wire to protect things.

I hope your seed will produce the same squash as you ate. Buttercups are of the maxima branch of the squash family and will happily cross with any other maxima. If your buttercup came from the center of the field, it might be ok. The luffa is a gourd and won't cross with the buttercup. Good luck with the buttercup, they do have long vines, so you may have to guide the vines a little bit. This squash is one of my favorites.

ClareBroommaker's picture

I've planted seed from grocery store squash before and mostly had good results. I did have crazy crosses once in a butternut and once in an acorn squash. The fruits were edible and productive but kind of pathetic. So I know there's a risk with what I'll get with this seed from the buttercup.

I always try to grow buttercup squash (usually burgess buttercup) because I think they're the best tasting of the winter squash. In my experience the vine length varies considerably with variety. Even if the vines are long, however, I've had good luck with spiraling the vines around the center of the plant to conserve space which doesn't seem to reduce production much.

ClareBroommaker's picture

Thanks. (No further comment)