Sweet Meat squashes rotting on vine!

tcstoehrJuly 30, 2009

I'm growing 5 winter squashes in a 5'x24' well prepared bed. Everything has been going fabulously, plenty of set blossoms, an ocean of vines running everywhere. Until a week ago I noticed a single wrinkled fruit. It was clearly a goner so I picked it and sliced it open. It is shown below. Today I noticed another one that had a hole rotted thru near the blossom end. I snipped it off and opened it up. It smelled very foul inside. Now I've found that all of the larger fruits on the three Sweet Meat vines are rotting thru at the blossom end. They're very juicy inside and smell horrible. Further, there's lots of freshly set fruits that are slimy and rotting on the same day that they bloomed. There are nice, large fruitlets where blossom end is clearly infected and rotting thru to the insides of these fruits. I even found one rotting that hadn't even opened yet. On the other hand, there are some that look normal. Almost as if this infection is passing.

The two other squash vines intermingled in here appear uneffected. A Marina Chioggia, and a Galeux D'eysines appear to be fine. There's only a couple of fruits on each one, and they look great, but they're also growing at the oppossite end of the bed and mostly direct in a different direction. And one of them looks a tad suspicious and I'll keep my eye on it.

So... any ideas? What could cause the sudden demise of all of these squashes at all stages of development?

Could it be overwatering? Our soil drains quite well so I water every other day during warm weather. And this was happening before the current heat wave we're going thru right now.

The leaves look healthy, the vines look fine, they're rooted down everywhere. It's all good except all the fruits rot.

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atlanticgiantpumpkin

It looks as if the bottoms are soaking wet, but you say your soil drains well? Do you spray for any bugs or use any organic pesticides?? And you noticed the inside had started to wrote. Any bugs like SVB's around?

But it sounds like Blossom end rot, very convincing to me.

Cause= by calcium deficiencies and fluctuations in soil moisture levels.
Solution= try a small amount of lime, some sea weed preparations, mulch to conserve moisture and don't let them get too dry.

Bradford

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 1:03AM
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tcstoehr

AtlanticGiant, we have no SVB in this region, and the local soil is a sandy, well-draining loam. But I water quite frequently, maybe too frequently, but it has never been a problem before. This soil is treated with lime, dolomite and gypsum in a complete organic fertilizer mixture containing kelp meal. Nearby tomatoes under same conditions have absolutely no BER.

I have lately discovered fungus growing on the new fruits underneath the dead blossom. It seems to destroy the stigma first. It hides under the dead blossoms, and is very difficult to see if it gets wet. I can easily believe that I had missed seeing them due to clumsy handling and poor eyesight. Here's a picture:

I think this is the cause, but what exactly is it? And why only here and now?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 10:31PM
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atlanticgiantpumpkin

yes that is some sort of fungus not sure which one.
Try 3 parts water to a tablespoon of baking soda, and add some milk like 1 part of it to make a gallon.

It should prevent the fungus from growing.
It may be from the warm weather, since it is my firswt year growing and all i really have no clue what that fungus could be hmmph.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 7:38PM
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