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Zucchini Rotting on the Vine

Question:

I would like to know why my zucchini plants look great with lots of flowers and fruit but when the zucchini get about 3-4 inches they start to rot or go soft? The first fruit I picked was great but since then they have not been good! Thank you.

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Hardiness Zone: 6a

Luigi from Lorain, Ohio

Answer:

Sounds more like blossom rot. (BER) That is a sign of lack of calcium. A few possible solutions to cure it.

  1. Egg shells, best added when you place them underneath the plant at planting time; but you could add into the soil whenever to gradually bring up traces of calcium. I grind my egg shells until a fine powder and add to the soil and water.

  2. Liming the soil with calcium carbonate (crushed limestone). Best in the winter or off season, or before planting.

  3. There are commercial sprays available (calcium nitrate & calcium chloride) that you can spray on or around the plants themselves during the growing season.

  4. Grind up a couple dozen calcium citrate dietary supplements, dissolve it in water and water your plants. This will affect all the new fruit.
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By David

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April 16, 20180 found this helpful

Egg shells will only work if you have the correct and adequate microbiology to break them down into an available form. You can purchase fine ag lime (finely ground agricultural lime) usually enough to fertilize about 100 zucchini plants for about $10 from an agricultural supplies shop. try to avoid using garden lime as usually sand is added and this is not necessary and in most cases detrimental. Lime will not work as quickly as the calcium pill trick but can be applied at any stage of the growing cycle and should be available enough to start seeing results within about 3-4 weeks (depends on a lot of variables: climate; soil type; available biology;etc.) and is definitely the method that I personally would recommend.

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If in a sandy soil, calcium (from liming) will not stay in the soil for long so it is better to apply less but more frequently.
Hope this has been helpful! Happy gardening!
kind regards,
Justin

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