The Q&A Archives: squash

Question: my squash is getting black and soft at aprox. 3 inches. what needs to be done to get healthy squash? I have a good mixture of compost, mircall grow manure and gypsum to the soil. the soil is quite hard and has quite a bit of alkai from hard water. waiting anxiuosly your response, thanxs keith (the garden is in a hot house in Camp Verde approx 80 miles north of phx on I-17)

Answer: If a water-soaked, sunken spot develops on the blossom end of squash, it usually indicates one or more of the following: lack of calcium uptake, extreme fluctuations in soil moisture, rapid early season growth followed by dry weather, excessive rainfall, or excessive salts in the soil. To avoid, try to keep the soil evenly moist, don't overfertilize, plant in well-draining soil, and don't cultivate too close to the ripening fruit (to avoid damage and allow introduction of bacteria). Remove the affected fruits and destroy them, to give the plants an opportunity to develop more fruit. Hope you have a great harvest!

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