Why are my crookneck squash rotting at the tips?
Hardiness Zone: 9a
Darlene from Carriere, MS
Hi Darlene - there are 2 possible reasons. One is called BER (blossom end rot) a common problem in the early spring with all fruiting plants and it has several causes including cool wet weather, too much nitrogen fertilizer, or inconsistent soil moisture levels. You can find out much more about it by Googleing BER.
The other possible reason is called "fruit abortion" due to incomplete or inadequate pollination. It is also quite common early in the gardening year and usually resolves itself once the plant matures a bit more and the weather settles. If it doesn't, you can hand pollinate the blooms for better success.
The way to tell which is the problem is by the size of the fruit. BER fruit will be close to normal size but with a rotted blossom end. Aborted fruit is usually much smaller.
Choanephora Cucurbitarum :
Symptoms:Soft rotting fungus enters fruit from blossom end, rapidly developing a fluffy mass of fruiting bodies.
Control:Cultural practices that reduce fruit contact with soil, or splashing of infected soil onto fruit are beneficial. Fungicide sprays may be required.
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