How much seed do I need to grow half acre of butternut?

Pumpkin    None Given

Question posted on behalf of Sarah Ameso from Kenya. I would like to grow half an acre of butternut pumpkin. Kindly advise on how much seed I will need.

Posted by: Deleted User (0 points) Deleted User
Posted: March 10, 2013


Sarah and Yagrein

PlantVillage will work better when you ask a very directed question. General questions like this are very tough to answer as each location is different. Have you experience growing this, are there other growing this, what have they tried? If no-one else in your region grows it then maybe it is not a useful crop to grow? You need to do a lot of research first. That can be difficult of course and the main sources for your are places like CABI, FAO and BioVision's InofNet

The FAO EcoPort is here: http://ecoport.org/ep?SearchType=disp...
The entry on Cucurbita moschata is here http://ecoport.org/ep?Plant=820&e...

The BioVision InfoNet page on Pumpkin http://www.infonet-biovision.org/defa...

CABI's PlantWise Knowledge base lets you search for crops and problems but does not have a simple factsheet on Butternut http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBan...

So, below I copy pasted content from CABI's compendium which is a pay to view service.

"Pumpkins and squash are normally direct-seeded in the field. Producers of early market summer squash may seed the crop in containers in a greenhouse and transplant to the field at about 3 weeks of age. Because of rapid growth in the transplant containers, transplanting may be a risky procedure if poor weather conditions delay transplanting and result in seedlings that are difficult to separate.

Plant spacing in the field for butternut type cultivars varies from 90 to 180 cm in the row and from 180 to 240 cm between rows (Maynard and Hochmuth, 1997). There is also a tendency to use lower plant populations for large-fruited lines (Cushman et al., 2004). Late flowering cultivars of tropical pumpkins require even wider spacing (e.g. 2 x 3 m) to accommodate the large vines (Carle et al., 2000).

Commercial plantings of C. moschata in large scale production are nearly always sole cropped for ease of harvesting. Vining pumpkins, especially in developing countries, are frequently grown in association with maize and other annual crops (Maynard et al., 1991). This system has much in common with traditional crop associations practiced for centuries by indigenous North American peoples (Mt Pleasant, 2006).

In winter squash and pumpkin plantings, conventional land preparation usually involves ploughing and disking the ground, followed by spreading of granular fertilizer prior to sowing of the crop (McClurg et al., 2003). The use of minimum tillage techniques, in which the residues from the previous crop are left in place, has become common and only a narrow strip of ground is prepared for sowing of the seed (McClurg et al., 2003).

Mature fruits of C. moschata are generally harvested in one or two sessions, by cutting the fruit from the vine when the skin has hardened. The fruit may be placed in rows to facilitate transport from the field, and moved to storage buildings until sold (Riggs and Rouse, 2003).

Pumpkin and winter squash yields vary between 12 and 25 tons/ha (Siemonsma and Piluek, 1993; Anon. 2007). The wide range in yields indicates the number of constraints to optimum plant growth that can occur during the season, such as the incidence of pests and diseases.

To minimize postharvest losses, it is recommended that the mature fruits of pumpkin and winter squash be allowed to cure, healing any cuts and bruises and allowing the skin to thicken further. This is best accomplished at 25-30°C and 85% RH, maintained for 7-10 days. Subsequently, the fruit can be stored for 2-3 months at 10-12°C and 50-75% RH (Decoteau, 2000). "

There is an attached chart from http://www.caes.uga.edu/applications/... showing seed densities

Posted by: David Hughes (55 points) David Hughes
Posted: March 11, 2013

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