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Vegetable Gardening: the summer squash woes

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Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 8, Views: 737
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debi_z
Springfield, MA
(Zone 6a)

July 2, 2002
10:02 PM

Post #34835

last year all my summer squash plants died. this year they are growing and even producing some fruits. now on a couple of the plants the squash are rotting. The fruits are about 2 inches long. the blossom has not fallen off yet and is brown at the end. where the squash meets the blossom is rotting. brown and squishy. the fruits are not touching the ground. on the other two plants which are separated by a row of eggplant, the squash plants and there fruits are ok so far. the ones that are rotting the plants are smaller and have produced more fruits than the other 2 which mostly have blooms but whose 1 or 2 squash are larger and doing fine. i have no mulch down. we have had a lot of pouring rains this past june. i've watered when the beds are dry and i've miracle growed them about every 10-14 days. anyone have any idea why this might be happening? i'm trying so hard to get myself some nice fresh garden summer squash. help me please!!!!!
MaryE
Baker City, OR
(Zone 5b)

July 3, 2002
2:34 AM

Post #295195

My summer squash always seem to do this, I just pick off the rotting ones and the others do ok. I don't know what causes it.
debi_z
Springfield, MA
(Zone 6a)

July 4, 2002
3:14 AM

Post #295760

thanks mary, that makes feel better just knowing i'm not alone and that i will get good ones too. :) doing the happy summer squash dance. :)
Brook
Richmond, KY
(Zone 6b)

July 4, 2002
3:20 AM

Post #295765

Wish I had that problem. So far this year my summer squash have only produced male flowers. Soon, I'm hoping...
Wingnut
Spicewood, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 4, 2002
3:38 AM

Post #295768

Debi, how much water are they getting? I've had this problem before ~ lots of spring rains and me watering them on top of that ~ and a little Mexican man told me to hold back on the water. Voila! Lotsa' healthy squash in no time.

Yep, Brook, won't be long now!
debi_z
Springfield, MA
(Zone 6a)

July 6, 2002
2:44 PM

Post #297208

yes, we've had a lot of spring rains. a lot of 80 or 90 degree days and when it rains it pours and pours. i have watered when it was dried out, and on the 90 degre days they were even wilting. they seem to be doing better now though, since the long heavy rains have stopped.
there are female and male buds? what is the difference? how do they differ?
oh, i learn so much here at dave's.
thanks folks.
Brook
Richmond, KY
(Zone 6b)

July 6, 2002
3:59 PM

Post #297253

Debi,

All of the cucurbits (melons, squashes, cucumbers) unabasedly show their gender. The male flowers have long, thin stems that join right to the plant. The females have a bulge, sort of like a miniature of the fruit, at the base of the flower. That's the ovary, just waiting to be pollinated.

Who says vegetables ain't sexy? :-)
Wingnut
Spicewood, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 6, 2002
4:08 PM

Post #297258

Yes, Debi, there are male flowers and then there are females and both appear on all the plants. Usually the males show up first, then the females a couple-three weeks later.

The male flowers just have a stem ending as a bloom while the females have a tiny little green fruit between the end of the stem and the bloom. If it gets pollinated, it'll grow into a large squash ~ if it doesn't, it'll just fall off. The males always just fall off when they're job of pollination is done. Here is a page with pictures of what look like pumpkin blooms http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=www.gov.on.ca/OMAFRA/english/crops/facts/00-031f2.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.gov.on.ca/OMAFRA/english/crops/facts/00-031.htm&h=305&w=288&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmale%2Bsquash%26start%3D20%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26sa%3DN Summer squash will have a tiny fruit that looks like a tiny summer squash, patty pans have a tiny patty pan, and so on. Cucumbers and gourds are this same way. Clear as mud?! LOL!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


July 7, 2002
3:51 AM

Post #297517

I've heard this condition called "blossom end rot". It happens quite often up here because we have such rainy summers. Yes, I think too much water is the culprit.

I've heard that those male blossoms are delicious when dipped in batter and deep fried.

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