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Beginner Vegetables: My yellow squash is rotting before maturing

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magnoliahill
Merritt Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 9, 2010
6:17 PM

Post #7778713

I have several yellow straight neck squash plants. I am already enjoying some but about half of the crop rots before it matures. Am I over-watering? Could it be a pest problem? I live in central Florida, zone 9b.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 10, 2010
7:17 AM

Post #7779889

The entire plant or just the immature squash?

locakelly

locakelly
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2010
9:09 AM

Post #7780253

If it's just some of the squash I'm guessing it's a pollination issue. If it is not pollinated it will start to shrivel and rot and eventually fall off.
magnoliahill
Merritt Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 11, 2010
6:10 AM

Post #7782828

It is only the immature squash. The plants themselves look great.

The lack of pollination makes sense! I didn't think of that - guess that's why I posted in the "beginner" forum! :)
Thank you so much.
JohnCrichton75
League City, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 11, 2010
7:09 AM

Post #7783014

How long does it take a straight neck squash to develop once it has been pollenated? What about crook neck?

locakelly

locakelly
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

May 11, 2010
8:10 AM

Post #7783194

Pretty quickly, John. A few days... Ever missed a pollinated zucchini and ac ouple days later you have a baseball bat? LOL Summer squash are best eaten small - they are more tender. Those big zukes I use as weapons or for zuchini bread.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 11, 2010
10:24 AM

Post #7783625

I was going to say a good time to pick them is at about 4 or 5 days. Don't wait too much longer or you'll have a giant squash which is tougher when cooked.
Aquannie
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 11, 2010
2:57 PM

Post #7784486

I have a lot of my baby squash shriveling up too. There are just not many bees left. It is very sad.
The worst change is just how awful a lot of the market veggies taste. I wonder if the young people even know the difference? I think that is why the heirloom varieties are so popular even if they are more work for us.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 11, 2010
4:08 PM

Post #7784689

I don't think it matters if it's heirloom or not, they still rely on pollinators to produce fruit.
johnnyswife
Como, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 12, 2010
6:32 AM

Post #7786060

I'm glad I found this thread. I am having the same problem. I noticed it yesterday. I know the flower will wilt and fall off, but the ends of the squash seem to be rotting. The squash are only about 3 inches long and about 1/2" of the end where the flower is is rotting. If it is a pollination issue, how can it be remedied?

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 12, 2010
7:42 AM

Post #7786255

Wait. Plant things to encourage the bees to come visit. Hand pollinate.
Jim41
Delhi, LA

May 12, 2010
10:27 PM

Post #7788705

Do you suppose it could be lack of calcium, like in blossom end rot in tomatoes?
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 13, 2010
4:47 AM

Post #7788980

I used to plant yellow and zucchini but they grow so wild and after producing few fruits they rot. i have very limited space and so I just but from the farmers market. I do love the female unopened fruits . Happy gardening. Belle
Jim41
Delhi, LA

May 13, 2010
6:31 AM

Post #7789209

bellieg, did you ever try putting a wire cage around the squash? I make a wire cage out of concret re-inforcement wire about 18in. in diameter and put around mine. They climb right to the top. I have very little trouble with rotting and fungus and mildew. The squash are easier to pick as they hang down mostly outside the cage.
johnnyswife
Como, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 13, 2010
11:06 AM

Post #7790022

Jim41 - That's a great idea!
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 13, 2010
11:36 AM

Post #7790126

Can you please post a picture? Thanks, Belle
Jim41
Delhi, LA

May 13, 2010
8:12 PM

Post #7791473

This is the only picture I have of my squash this year.

Thumbnail by Jim41
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jim41
Delhi, LA

May 13, 2010
8:16 PM

Post #7791479

Here is a shot of last years.

These cages are five feet tall with six inchs under ground. The squash actually climed out the top before the season was over.

This message was edited May 13, 2010 9:18 PM

Thumbnail by Jim41
Click the image for an enlarged view.

locakelly

locakelly
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

May 14, 2010
8:21 AM

Post #7792251

Holy moly Jim! Great idea to contain the monster squash!
magnoliahill
Merritt Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 14, 2010
2:28 PM

Post #7793017

johnnyswife - that is exactly what my squash are doing! I am still getting plenty to eat though.

Jim41 - I may try your idea next year. Or not plant quite as many. These plants are huge! I had no idea they would take up so much room.

I'm such a newbie at gardening. Next time I know what to do differently!
Jim41
Delhi, LA

May 14, 2010
6:32 PM

Post #7793570

When you do raised beds, you have to make everything grow up. Saves a lot of room.
patterntracy
Hyde Park, MA

May 15, 2010
5:59 AM

Post #7794348

Wow! Thanks, Jim! What a great idea! I guess I have another project for my poor husband...
funtomatoes
Douglasville, GA

May 15, 2010
3:07 PM

Post #7795453

Magnoliahill,
My squash rotted last year, they would get about 2 1/2 inches long and then start to rot at the blossom end. I know it was not a pollination issue because I had plenty of bees. I never figured it out, so I'm hoping someone will have another possibility besides lack of bees.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 15, 2010
8:34 PM

Post #7796292

Blossom end rot is most likely the problem.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

May 16, 2010
6:29 AM

Post #7796942

funtomaotes wrote;"they would get about 2 1/2 inches long and then start to rot at the blossom end. I know it was not a pollination issue because I had plenty of bees."

Maybe the bees are not doing their job diligently enough. I would try hand-pollinating a few, and see where it goes. Just take a male blossom, rip off the petals, and squish it around in the female flower.(yes, those are technical terms;). That may well fix things for you.
I've researched Blossom End Rot before, and most places limit it to tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and some melons. That doesn't mean it can't happen to squash, I know, and some sites say "all fruiting plants", so you may still be right. I just think that it's worth trying a little hands on pollination...
johnnyswife
Como, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 20, 2010
6:20 AM

Post #7809993

I read up on blossom end rot, and I think that's what's wrong with mine. We just created the raised bed for the garden this year and I think we put too much fertilizer. That can cause the leaves to grow too fast and the roots to grow too slow and deprive the fruit from getting enough calcium. The blossom end is the part of the squash that grows the fastest and if it cannot keep up the cells begin to collapse. Makes a lot of sense to me. The article also said, If squash blossom end rot appears, remove the affected fruit and use a calcium rich foliar spray on the plant. This will ensue that the next round of squash that the plant grows will have sufficient calcium to grow correctly. Can't hurt to try! Right?
Jim41
Delhi, LA

May 20, 2010
8:06 PM

Post #7812338

I have a friend that puts a handful of powdered milk around each of his tomatoes and waters it in to keep them from have BIR. Should work with squash.
johnnyswife
Como, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 21, 2010
8:20 AM

Post #7813423

[quote="Jim41"]I have a friend that puts a handful of powdered milk around each of his tomatoes and waters it in to keep them from have BIR. Should work with squash.[/quote]

Interesting! I may give that a try if I can't find the calcium spray. I probably shouldn't do both. Right?
Jim41
Delhi, LA

May 21, 2010
12:07 PM

Post #7814160

Look at Lowe's for blossom end rot spray. It comes in a little white bottle. It really works on tomatoes but usually takes two or three applications. I had to use it last season about the middle of the season on my tomatoes and again when the top crop began to get about golf ball size. I doubt if using both would hurt.

I haven't had to use anything so far but I am going to put out the powdered milk next week as a preventive measure. By the end of summer I'll know if it works or not.
Ekko
Hyampom, CA

September 13, 2010
9:40 PM

Post #8098010

What is this spray made of?
My mother always boiled crushed egg shells for tomatoes, or just sprinkled powder on the soil. I soak them in vinegar as this breaks down the calcium and makes it more available. Bone meal is also a good source, but we eat lots of eggs and can actually grind them at home, and the chickens can't use them all.
I believe without being broken down by an acid it takes some time to release into the soil.
akrandi
Fairbanks, AK

September 13, 2010
11:12 PM

Post #8098061

I was also fighting with my yellow squash rotting at the end this summer, they would get 3" - 4" long and start to go bad. My zucchini was right next to it and I got tons of them, no rot on any of them. I don't think it was a pollination problem since there was a bee nest just 20ft away from the garden again this year, and yep they were all over the garden. I also did hand pollination, so I am fairly sure that it wasn't a pollination issue.
My Zucchini didn't rot at all and they were in the same bed could it still be a calcium issue? I just found out a couple weeks ago that I have very high arsenic in my ground water, (thank goodness for the amount of rain this summer, I didn't have to water hardly at all) could it be that the yellow squash is more sensitive too (going to call it poisoning, not sure how else to explain it) poisoning?
Lacey12
Burson, CA

September 14, 2010
9:17 AM

Post #8098667

I have a similar situation to the one akrandl is describing and I have no water problem. I'm thinking it's the calcium thing. I've been very curious about this yellow squash problem so was happy to see this thead. Zucchini is so prolific, I think the yellow crook necks are more 'delicate'. We're at the end of the season here in Northern California so I think it is too late for this year. I am going to try the calcium enrichment for next year. I live alone so I get plenty of squash from the 2 plants I have. I would just like to know what causes the situation and perhaps if the yellow squash did better I could just put in one plant and have room to plant something else.
I learned a lot. Thanks to you all.
Lacey12
Burson, CA

September 14, 2010
2:29 PM

Post #8099145

If any of you have a zucchini bread recipe I would be glad to have it as I have a runaway zucchini on hand.
Here is a meatloaf recipe I have that uses 2 cups of grated zucchini - it was good and you wouldn't notice the zucchini.

ZUCCHINI MEATLOAF - From pillsbury.com
(I felt much more seasoning was required from that in the original recipe. I added about 4 cloves of minced garlic, several herbs from my garden - basil, rosemary, sage, marjoram & oregano. A little of this and that, whatever smelled good. For a little added zip I added Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. The glaze was a tasty addition.)
Ingredients
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups shredded zucchini (I used the fine side of the box grater)
1/3 cup ProgressoŽ plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 lb. (I used 2 lbs., 1 ground round and 1 hamburger) lean (at least 80%) ground beef
Topping
1. tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix all meat loaf ingredients until well blended. Press mixture into ungreased 9 1/2-inch deep-dish glass pie plate. Bake 35 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix all topping ingredients.
3. Remove meat loaf from oven; pour off drippings. Spread topping over loaf. Return to oven; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until thoroughly cooked in center and meat thermometer reads 160°F. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information:
1 Serving (1 Serving)Calories 200(Calories from Fat 100),Total Fat 11g(Saturated Fat 4g,Trans Fat 1/2g),Cholesterol 105mg;Sodium 440mg;Total Carbohydrate 8g(Dietary Fiber 0g,Sugars 4g),Protein 18g;Percent Daily Value*:Vitamin A 4%;Vitamin C 6%;Calcium 4%;Iron 10%;Exchanges:0 Starch;0 Fruit;1/2 Other Carbohydrate;0 Skim Milk;0 Low-Fat Milk;0 Milk;0 Vegetable;0 Very Lean Meat;0 Lean Meat;0 High-Fat Meat;0 Fat;Carbohydrate Choices:1/2;*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Thanks for any help using up the zuke.
Jim41
Delhi, LA

September 14, 2010
10:19 PM

Post #8099946

The spray is just a foligae feed to give you your plants the calcium they need quickly. It works, it's cheap, it's fast. I've used it for years.

locakelly

locakelly
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

September 22, 2010
2:52 PM

Post #8114752

Lacey12 - go to www.elise.com/recipes and search Zucchini - she has some great recipes and a very good zucc bread recipe...
Lacey12
Burson, CA

September 29, 2010
2:02 PM

Post #8128134

Thanks, locakelly, I'll check it out. As late in the season as it is they are still coming on.
Lacey

locakelly

locakelly
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9a)

September 29, 2010
3:21 PM

Post #8128264

You're welcome! What I do when I have waaaaayyyyyyyy too many zucchini is shred them up and package them in freezer bags in the amount needed for the bread or other recipes then thaw and use. Easy peasy!

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