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OK to save and use Waltham Butternut squash?

 
Posts: 34
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
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This is the small variety and I am unsure if it is a hybrid or not. Will the seed produce the same? Will they produce at all?
 
pollinator
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Probably be fine. If it was grown in a big field of waltham butternut youll get a butternut. You can repeat year after year. If it grows near another moschata like a pumpkin type you'll end up with more variability.

I got some this year with a bit of stringiness but makes good pie and smoothies after blending. I should be able to mostly breed that out in a few generations.

If grown too close to mospermia squash you might get some bland ones. Wild relatives could introduce bitterness. But for the vast majority it's going to be fine.
 
pollinator
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The short answer is Yes, it'll reproduce after it's kind.

While not technically an "heirloom" (it's not an old variety - it's only from the 1970's), Waltham Butternut Squash are indeed non-hybrid and will reproduce its own species without varying much, if not cross-pollinated.

"Open-pollinated: A non-hybrid variety that can reproduce itself in kind, demonstrating relatively stable traits from one generation to the next." - Johnny Seed, Waltham Butternut Squash page


The only caveat I'd mention is that squashes in-general cross-pollinate like crazy. If you (or anyone else within 1500 ft) grow pumpkins or other squashes nearby, each resulting seed will be somewhere between 0% and 50% mixed with whatever it cross-pollinated with (the nearer the other squashes, the more of your seeds will get cross-polinated - so if a neighbor is growing pumpkins, it's not like 100% of your Walthams will be contaminated, but some will be).

Over several generations, if you have other stuff you also grow, the seeds will eventually vary from being true-to-type. In some rolls of the dice, you'll notice immediate departing. But we're not talking your entire bunch of seeds - e.g. you save and plant a bunch of seeds, some will be true-to-type, some will depart and make their own crosses with whatever cross-pollinated it.

In isolation, with no cross-pollination with other species, you'll get nearly 100% true-to-type. If not in isolation, you'll still mostly get true-to-type, and may also end up having some odd squashes that you might also enjoy.

So yea, go for it, even if you have other squashes nearby.
 
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Waltham is a rather questionable choice for the Willamette Valley. I'd recommend something shorter season.
 
Jamin Grey
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What squash would you recommend?

I know nothing of Willamette Valley, but Walthams do great in my area in Missouri, and we have similar length of growing season (mine is actually two days shorter), assuming this is correct.

I always get great crops of Walthams within that time window. I plant seeds directly in the ground, around May 1st (sometimes as late as the 7th), after last frost, and harvest late October, intentionally letting the squashes get hit by the first frost of winter, which is supposed to help Walthams, harvesting within two or three days of that first frost.

That's not to say he shouldn't try others, just to say, in my very limited experience, I haven't had issues with the growing window for Walthams.
(I have for had issues with melons, though. And I wouldn't mind three additional weeks of good weather for tomatoes! I usually have to frost-blanket tomatoes in late-October)
 
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I have decent luck with them up here in zone 4a.  And yes, save the seeds!  I save them from the ones that lasted in storage the longest so I'm passing along the traits of shelf storage as I save seeds
 
William Schlegel
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I never really had luck with Moschata till I got Joseph's strain. So from personal experience I would say get that and then select for necked squash.
 
Jon Sousa
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Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Jamin Grey wrote:The only caveat I'd mention is that squashes in-general cross-pollinate like crazy. If you (or anyone else within 1500 ft) grow pumpkins or other squashes nearby, each resulting seed will be somewhere between 0% and 50% mixed with whatever it cross-pollinated with.



This is not encouraging as my butternut were in the same row as my zucchini. What are my chances???

 
Mike Haasl
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You'll be just fine.  Butternuts are in the moschata squash family while zucchini are in the pepo family.  Pepo is a huge family with acorn squash, patty pan and some pumpkins so they have more chances to cross in a normal garden.
 
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