Can zucchini and butternut be grown in the same patch?
May 26, 2009 8:04 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to plant a traditional Three Sisters garden for the first time - corn, beans & squash in the same location as companion plants. Can I put two varieties of squash (yellow zucchini and butternut) in the same planting?

I'd like to plant butternut squash and yellow zucchini. I want to conserve space in the garden a bit, as squashes are monsters, so I'd like to be able to incorporate both into the three sisters garden. From looking around I think that it should be ok because summer squashes (like zucchini) are cucurbita pepo and butternut is Cucurbita moschata. So, assuming they won't cross-pollinate, will they be alright in the same space? I'd like to get decent crops of both, and it would suck if they prevented each other from growing.
posted by Jupiter Jones to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I do not see how it would be a problem, I grow pumpkins and zukes pretty close.
The only time I grew them yellow zukes seemed kind of wimpy compared to the green and you will have to give your corn a good spacing if all three are to grow out.
posted by Iron Rat at 9:36 PM on May 26, 2009

Yeah, but you won't want to save the seeds from those plants because they would most likely be an inedible hybrid. They will totally cross pollinate, but that won't make a difference until the next generation.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:45 PM on May 26, 2009

Oops, totally wrong answer about cross pollination, sorry- they'll be fine. It's other squash and pumpkins that have issues.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:51 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: I've had better luck growing winter squash than summer squash in a three sisters patch, the beans always seem to grow from one corn stalk to another and make a huge tangle of vines by the time the summer squash starts producing. If you're going to grow zucchini in there then put the winter squash at the center of the patch and the zucchini at the edges. I wouldn't worry about cross pollination with any squash - unless you're planning to save the seeds it won't make any difference if it happens.
posted by foodgeek at 7:23 AM on May 27, 2009

You can also prune your squash. Harvest some of the moschata flowers to stuff and eat; and prune back runners/pinch flowers, which will also have the affect of giving you stronger vines and larger fruit. Think of this first year as your experiment-- if you don't get the best harvest you possibly could, you'll learn some stuff about next year (I'm doing a 3 sisters for the first time this year as well, with pumpkins and butternut, so I feel your pain.)
posted by nax at 4:15 PM on May 27, 2009

« Older Business Statistics: A Synergistic...   |   Oh no... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.