The Q&A Archives: Blossom End Rot on Squash

Question: I live in the Southern California area and my squash are being plagued with blossom rot. I was wondering what I can do to prevent and cure this problem.

Answer: The ubiquitous blossom-end rot strikes again! Here are the causes: 1) insufficient available calcium in the soil (# 1). 2) sufficient watering early in the growing season and then an abrupt minimization at flowering. 3) or, nice rains early,drought later. 4) heavy and/or constant rains which cause considerable death to small rootlets. 5) deep cultivation around the plants which will cause similar rootlet death. 6) too much nitrogen fertilizer which puts a lock on calcium uptake. In Southern California the soils are loaded with calcium but because of the high pH, the calcium is unavailable. Get a soil test and consider adding gypsum or sulphur products. Keep in mind, too, that a similar physiological disease , small fruits simply dropping because of overwatering at fruit set, is also common.

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