Keep your zucchini, crookneck and pattypans safe!

Every summer, as you well know if you have grown any kind of squash, the fruit can sometimes develop a mushy, soft, rotting spot at the blossom end.squash bottom end rot

Reasons:

The fruit develops a disease that is similar to tomato blossom end rot which happens when the water given to the plants is uneven which creates a calcium deficiency. This can be prevented by mulching to keep the soil moisture even, and by watering regularly to give the plants adequate water.

The second reason is that the flowers themselves develop a fungus and rot back into the fruit. This happens especially in areas or gardens that have high humidity, or where gardens are watered from above and plants are kept wet for long periods of time.

Solutions:

In either case mentioned above, the answer to the problem is simple:

-Ensure even watering, adequate and be sure to not indulge in over-fertilization, maintain appropriate pH between 6-6.5 for better calcium uptake and add a calcium rich spray or supplement to the soil.

-Remove the flowers once the young fruit has begun to swell and grow. After you remove the flower, if you see any decay starting, using your fingernail gently scrape the end of the fruit to remove any decaying material. A small scar will form where you did this, but the rot will stop and your squash will develop into mature fruit with no further problems.

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