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Squash ends shriveling?

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Squash ends shriveling?

Post  newgloves on 9/8/2010, 6:33 pm

Well, I was so excited a week ago since it looked like I would finally get a harvest - my zephyr squash had 2 4" long squash on them. So, now the ends are all shriveling and looking pruney and I'm not sure why. Is it because they're sitting on the dirt? In the future should I raise the squash up off the soil? The other baby squash that are growing are still sticking in the air and doing well. My plants look great - big, green, healthy & growing babies. So, what's up w/ these two squash?

Thanks for suggestions!

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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 9/8/2010, 6:49 pm

Hi,
I would guess that your squash are not getting pollinated. It usually happens to the first few squash in my neck of the woods, then they will be fine. Squash scaffolding will not be necessary. Enjoy your garden.

Patty from Yorktown
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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  Megan on 9/8/2010, 6:56 pm

That happened to mine, too. I think the first few were from not getting pollinated, and then some more were lost to BER (Blossom End Rot.) I recently had another rash of BER, not entirely sure why, but I'm getting enough that it's not the end of the world.

Advice from me the beginner!:

The first few, you probably have no control over.

Look to see if you have both male and female blossoms. The males have a skinny little stem behind the flower and come straight off the main stem. They seem to bloom earlier than the females. The females have a mini fruit shape right behind the flower. You can use a paintbrush, q-tip, blade of grass etc. to help pollinate the females if you think that will help.

I crushed up some Tums (calcium) and scattered them around the square of my squash stem a while back. It did seem to help at the time. My squash has now put down so many secondary roots I'm not sure if it's worth it to try again, but I probably will.
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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  camprn on 9/8/2010, 7:28 pm

This happened to me almost all of the summer. I treated for blossom end rot, tried hand pollinating, watering, not watering, forgetting about them for a week and it continues to happen. I am just chaulking it up to a bad summer for summer squash in my garden. I hope you get some squash soon!
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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/8/2010, 8:49 pm

Even more easier way to pollinate female squash---is to pick the male flower with nice stem-------pull the flower petals off leaving the anther intact----- then gently rub the male anther on the female stigma.

Another reason for blossom end rot is irregular watering-----too much then not enough.
Irregular watering is a bigger cause of blossom end rot than low calcium.
Irregular watering can cause an irregular nutrient intake to the plant --in return causes
blossom end rot.
Also--- If you know your soil has calcium in it and you still have blossom end rot--- and you are watering regularly--- give your plants a little Epsom Salt. Epsom salt has magnesium in it which is very important in making the nutrients that are in the soil available to the plant.
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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/8/2010, 8:52 pm

Early unpollinated Squash Idea
When your young squash plants start showing females blooming and you see no
males in sight---wait two days then pick those females before they shrivel at the ends---
cut into long strips and stir fry. nothing lost
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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  miinva on 9/10/2010, 12:19 am

You can also stuff squash blossoms with cream cheese and fry them. Fattening, but delicious!

Here's a link to some squash blossom recipes: http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe0805b.htm

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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  newgloves on 9/10/2010, 1:12 am

Well, I've got more squash coming in although another is shriveling at the end. My question is - they're starting to shrivel when they're 4 inches long when they've long since lost their flower on the end. Would this be from not being pollenated? It seems if that were the problem it'd shrivel before getting that big - I was thinking I'd pick them in a couple more days when they started to shrivel. Another one on a plant is starting to shrivel as well.

However, I am also noticing that there are mostly female flowers on all 3 of the plants. Should I use the q-tip idea w/ what male flowers I have on the few female ones that are opening as a preventative measure?

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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  Megan on 9/10/2010, 6:52 am

Newgloves, that happened to me, too. I think it is from not being pollinated but I could be wrong.

The q-tip trick certainly can't hurt. Just be a little cautious when you go poking around in there, as you may find a bee inside! Smile
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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  elliephant on 9/11/2010, 2:46 pm

I never got a squash to get past that stage without a q-tip. I didn't get too many even so. And people say they are so easy to grow! Mad

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squash ends shrivel

Post  garden mark on 9/11/2010, 4:42 pm

[quote="newgloves"]Well, I've got more squash coming in although another is shriveling at the end. My question is - they're starting to shrivel when they're 4 inches long when they've long since lost their flower on the end. Would this be from not being pollenated? It seems if that were the problem it'd shrivel before getting that big - I was thinking I'd pick them in a couple more days when they started to shrivel. Another one on a plant is starting to shrivel as well.

I'm new to gardening so I won,t guess about your plants, but I was having the same problem with fruit not filling out , I'm growing in pots and I was able to put the squash in a bigger pot with some good ocean forest soil and I started getting nice squash. Three weeks later the small fruit start to shrivel again. I started adding Bloom Grow and Micro every other day to the watering (same used for hydoponics)and the squash was producing like crazy. I went away for ten days, plants were wartered but no feed and the small fruit have started shriveling again. Back feeding last two days and plants are looking better, I know the plants are root bound but as long as I feed no problem!
Hope this helps, I know the SFQ way is compost and not to feed but?


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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  Megan on 9/11/2010, 4:43 pm

Sorry to hear that, Ellie. Sad I am still losing squash here and there, but enough are getting by that I don't miss the ones I've lost.

I feel no shame about feeding my plants.
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Re: Squash ends shriveling?

Post  camprn on 9/11/2010, 5:30 pm

I feed my plants if they are looking hungry. My Brussels Sprouts and basil are loving the dried blood Shocked
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