Why is zuchinni rotting on end?

wudagalJuly 16, 2007

My first SFG is doing awesome except the yellow and zuchinni squash plants. They are large and healthy, no wilting leaves, with lots of production except they are rotting on the flower end. There are about 16 squashes, all about 4 inches long and the ones closest to the base are rotting on the ends. Mel says you cannot overwater using his mix but my guess is I AM overwatering.

Any ideas anyone?

Also, I have been reading this forum for months now and it's been very helpful, thanks to all!

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wbchmura

Not to freak you out - but that is one of the first things I notice when I get the SVB (Squash Vine Borer). My ends turn a bit different color and start getting soft.

Check around the stem for "frass" - like little crumbly crud coming out of a very small hole. The other indicator I use is when leaves start to wilt in one part, but not another.

There are many pages on it, but not many definate solutions.

I could be wrong - I don't think it is overwatering though if that is the case.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:16PM
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wudagal

Thanks wbchmura.......with a closer look, I found black (aphids I think) covering some blossoms and under lots of leaves. Some leaves were almost covered so I took those off the plant and sprayed the rest with insectisidal spray.
I don't think that the aphids (if that is what they are) are connected to my rotting ended squashes; the yellow squash right next to the zucchini has not black stuff, just rotting ended fruit.
I looked for frass but hard to spot that.

Anyone else got some ideas?

Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 12:36AM
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darkcloud

yep blossom end rot

Here is a link that might be useful: ber

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 5:11AM
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wudagal

Thanks DarkCloud for the link. I read a lot on the link you suggested and have come to this guess: I overwatered.
Sounds like all is not lost though. Some say they still get some good sized keepers on the same plant.

The FAQ page says "BER should not be confused with fruit abortion or inadequate pollination although the symptoms may appear similar. The onset of BER occurs only after the fruit is well on it's way to development while insufficient pollination problems terminate the fruit while still quite small"

I did check for the male and female flowers, thinking it may be a polination issue. I have 12 zucchini on each stalk, each about only 1 inch apart and NO male flowers at this time. Just 2 green buds. Had to take 2 males off last night as they were covered in aphids.

So it still could be a polination issue.....we'll see.

Next year I will sew my own seed and not buy a plant and I will look for a disease resistant variety, not overwater and check for black aphids beginning when the plant is young.

It's my first year so I can't expect everything to grow like my 6 foot tomatoes!

I love this forum! But, how do I include a photo in my post?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 11:37PM
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wbchmura

Is it possible to over-water in a SFG? I know someone in a conventional garden that leaves soakers running all night on his zucchini and his garden is amazing.

I am sorry to hear about the aphids - I have a good size colony on my unruly pole beans. I have ladybugs on order, but they don't ship until tomorrow...

Sigh.

Anyway, in the past I have snipped some of the extra male flowers - I read that each time the plant produces a flower its a crap shoot. So by cutting some of the extra male flowers it may indeed grow some females the next time.

This is the Internet so take this with a grain of salt - I forget where I read it, and don't remember if it really worked or not. So try it out. I tend to lose all mine by now anyway.

I'd also remove those "fruits" that are going bad, why force the plant to keep trying to support those. The frass is sometimes really obvious, but sometimes it gets washed away by rain, etc... If you start getting leaves wilting, or if the damage starts to progress farther and farther up the stalk it will be more apparent.

It's my year one with a SFG too. Most things are really good, some plants seem to be producing a bit less than other years in a normal garden.

The 9 beans to a SF works, but we followed up with a planting of 5 in a SF and they seem to be bigger plants. We'll see if the output is just as good if not better.

More on that later :)

Oh to include a photo, I believe you need to put the images on a web site somewhere and insert the html code into your message....

It will look like:

<img src="http://www.yourserver.com/image.jpg"; />

But with different names and stuff...

Hopefully that will help

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 12:59AM
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justplainbeth

I have small zucchini's that shriveled up and died, but others that are big and growing. I was wondering too until I did a search here and it turns out they just weren't pollinated. This is my first year with a SFG and my first time ever growing Zukes. This site is a wealth of information. Good luck with your aphids!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:44PM
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lilion

Mine did the same thing and I decided it is BER. Someone I know suggested putting some lime down around the zukes and it seems to have helped.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:47AM
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Ray_Scheel(z8b/SS31 E. TX)

Yes, lime adds calcium, a common cause of BER. BER shows up here at my place when its been raining a lot, which leaches the calcium out. Even with just occasional watering, the water from my well is high enough calcium to keep it at bay.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 4:44PM
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