The Q&A Archives: vegetable problems

Question: First our squash is turning yellow and squishy at the end and narrower than the rest of the vegetable before it's ready to pick, and second our radish greens are growing like crazy but there is not much progress in the radish itself. Please help

Answer: If the baby squash are just emerging, it could be that the female blossoms weren't pollinated. This sometimes happens early in the season, before the male blossoms appear. It can also happen during cool spells when pollinators are less active. However, it sounds as if 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. Cultural techniques like not overwatering, using a drip watering system rather than constant overhead sprinkling (wet plants create a perfect environment for disease), and growing vines on a trellis to improve air circulation all will help significantly. Mulching with a layer of dry organic material, such as straw, can help reduce the problem somewhat but is not a 100% solution to this problem. Try these cultural practices and see if there's improvement.

Radishes grow best in the cool seasons, either early spring or fall. If you grow them in the heat of summer, all their energy will go into foliage and seed production, not in root production. Wait until the first of September and sow radish seeds (they should be ready in 28 days), or sow your seeds in April.

Best wishes with your garden!

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