Butternut Squash Zone 7: Growth and Care Guide

Butternut squash is a versatile crop that can be enjoyed as a vegetable, in soups, stews, and pureees, or grated to make breads and ice cream. They are grown between the latitudes of 38 degrees North and 48 degrees North.

Soils vary depending on your area’s weather patterns, but they thrive in acidic soils with high moisture availability. This plant adapts well to cold climates being hardy from zone 3-7.

Butternut squash needs cool weather to germinate and grow, so you can start seeing them about two weeks after planting seeds. However, you should that these plants contain toxic compounds that can make them poisonous if ingested, so they are not suitable for children or pets. Let’s look at how to grow butternut squash in Zone 7.

When To Plant Butternut Squash Zone 7

Butternut Squash Zone 7

It is good to start sowing the butternut squash plant seeds in early spring and then transplanting them outside after the last frost of spring season if you live in USDA climate zone 7.

In USDA climate zone 7, it is good to sprout the seeds indoors and wait until June before transplanting them. If your winters are too cold for this plant, you can also sow some seeds in March/April and others later in May/June and still harvest them by early October when they should be mature enough.

The butternut squash plant should be grown outdoors after all danger of frost has passed; this might be early June or late May for those living in USDA climate zone 7.

How to Grow the Butter Squash Plant

Picking Your Spot

Butternut squash plants like a lot of space to grow; they will need an area at least 3-5 ft long if planted against a wall or fence. In addition to space, these plants require full sunlight and soil that drains well. A sandy, loose soil is best for butternut squash plants. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, loosen it up with compost or other organic matter before planting.

Planting Your Plant

Onions, leeks, pumpkins, and squash are all plants that benefit from a “hardening off” period before planting. This period of low light and temperate temperatures allows the plant to recognize its new environment and get used to its new needs. Butternut squash plants require much more room than these other vegetables, so be sure you have enough space before you begin. If your soil is sandy or loose, you may want to add compost or other organic matter to raise the pH levels before planting.

Plant your butternut squash seeds 1″ deep and space the plants 2-3 ft apart. Mulch the area with a 5% application of aged manure or other organic matter before planting. Once planted, you may want to rotate your plants every three days to allow them room to grow vertically as they grow taller.


Butternut squash has very light requirements, which means it will grow best with sunlight but only needs six hours of light per day during the winter months. However, it is susceptible to cold temperatures and should be planted no later than September 1st on the North American continent and on October 15th in Europe. That can vary depending on your specific geographical location and the time of year. You should always check with an expert when preparing to plant your butternut squash to avoid mistakes that could lead to death or injury.

The location where you are planting your butternut squash also requires specific light intensity. In general, a plant should receive at least four inches of illumination to grow. That means that the light should reach six inches underneath the soil without falling on any surface other than the soil where you want your plant to grow. You will need to keep this area free of anything that could make it difficult for the sun’s rays to reach your butternut squash; this includes stones, rocks, or other obstructions blocking light from reaching your plants.

Another factor to consider is rain and humidity levels. If you live in a place where the soil is frequently wet after rain, you will need to take additional measures to keep the light on your plants. These steps should include covering your butternut squash with black plastic or opaque cloth and ensuring that your plant is wholly watered at least twice throughout its life.


Once you have planted your seeds, you will need to water them. Place a soaker hose or drip irrigation near the base of the plant. That will allow you to water the plant without disturbing its roots. Do not water from above as this can cause fungus and rot. Water your plants when they are dry, not before.

Once your plants are at least 2 ft tall you can mulch around the base of each plant with a 6-8″ layer of hay or straw (or other organic matter). Remove any dead or weak plants that may have grown around the base of your plants, as they will not produce fruit.


As your plants grow taller, you can help them maintain their strength by adding a high-nitrogen fertilizer like fish, seaweed, or manure to their soil. Use a 1/2-1 cup of chicken manure per 20 square feet of growing space. That will give your plant more nutrients to grow and help spread diseases caused by soil pests and fungus.

If you are worried about over-fertilizing, you can use one tablespoon of liquid fish fertilizer for every ten gallons of water as a general guideline. Your plants will also need plenty of water when they are ready to harvest!

Butternut Squash Zone 7: Final thoughts

Butternut Squash should be planted in zones 7 during the fall and spring seasons. These are the optimal planting seasons for this vegetable because they are more likely to thrive and produce fruit.

Fall is the ideal period for planting, so if you want to give your squash a head start, it will come to fruition before summer! Plant the seeds now if you anticipate plantings during fall or spring.

Related Article: Butternut Squash Companion Plants