squash - Knowledgebase Question

Prescott Valley, Ar
Question by bmdwiggins
July 11, 2010
my yellow crookneck squash are producing small squash that do not grow beyond 3


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Answer from NGA
July 11, 2010

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What you describe could be incomplete pollination and the fruit is being aborted or it might be a condition called blossom end rot. It is more often noticed on tomatoes, but squash can be affected, as well. The cause is lack of calcium in the soil and more commonly uneven soil moisture levels. Watering correctly should stop the blossom end rot (Over watering and under watering can both cause drooping or wilting due to root damage.) Your goal in watering is to keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet and not dried out. There is no set schedule for watering, it depends on your soil type and on the weather. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, do not water yet. When you do water, apply it to the soil surface and water thoroughly and slowly so it soaks down to the deeper roots. After watering, wait a few hours and then dig down to see how far the water soaked in; it can be surprising. Using an organic mulch several inches thick over the root area will help reduce watering needs as well as feed the soil gradually as it breaks down over time. You may also want to check the soil pH. If the soil is too acidic, lime would be used to raise the pH; lime will help supplement the calcium in the soil.

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