By Cindrellah Rushambwa
BUTTERNUT PLANTING (DIRECT PLANTING)
Butternuts can be planted from August to early January in Zimbabwe because they are susceptible to very low temperature during their growing period (Starke Ayres, butternut production guidelines)
They require well drained fertile soils. Soil should be thoroughly prepared and deeply loosened before planting. Previous crop residues should be well rotted. Raised beds are preferably suitable in areas of high rainfall to prevent logging. Basins, hills and furrows can be used for butternut planting During planting the soil should be moist (Starke Ayres, butternut production guidelines)
In row should be 0.5m -0.7m and inter row should be 1.2m-1.5m so as to prevent rank growth and prevention of creating conducive environment of fungal pathogens. But this mostly depends with the variety.
Basal fertiliser should be incorporated per station and it should be covered to avoid direct fertiliser seed contact. Plant two seeds per station and cover with soil and water to field capacity.