The Q&A Archives: Crookneck Squash Rotting

Question: I grow yellow squash every year but have a terrible problem with them rotting on the end. Someone told me to put hay around the bottom of the plants to prevent this. Will this work? If not what should I do to prevent this from happening?

Answer: The problem is most likely fungal or bacterial diseases attacking fruit. The wet scar formed when the flower detaches from the fruit is a prime site for infection if conditions are right.

Fungicide or bactericide sprays can help, but cultural techniques like not overwatering, using a drip watering system rather than constant overhead sprinkling, and growing vines on a trellis to improve air circulation all will help significantly. I have grown vining squash on a trellis for years in east Texas and have not had a significant problem with fruit rot. Mulching can certainly help reduce the problem somewhat but is not a 100% solution to this problem.

If you want a spray option for your bush type squashes, contact your Extension Office (phone 409-539-7824) and they can recommend an appropriate product.

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