Question: I relish ‘Buttercup’ squash, but is there a way to prune it without hurting production too much? The vegetation rambles over an area 40 by 60 feet.
–Great Falls, Mont.
Answer: Later in the growing season when the vines have set all the fruit you want, start pinching off the last four to 12 inches of the main vine and its branchings. Better still, try the hybrid ‘Sweet Mama’, a buttercup-type squash. Its vines can be nipped off when they reach four feet and will continue to produce fruit prolifically, the first fruit maturing 75 to 84 days from set under favorable growing conditions. It is also an excellent winter keeper (up to five months).