zucchini rotting and squash blossoms on ground

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by sassy_mare, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

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    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    I just went out to garden and found a large majority of my zucchini are rotting from the blossom ends. I've gotten 2 big ones off the same plant - but the little ones are rotting.

    Also - I have Buttercup, crookneck and Spaghetti squash with lots of blossoms but a lot of them are dead on the ground.

    Its been very warm and dry here, but I've been watering - any ideas?

    Thanks!
    Sheri
     
  2. Jeslik

    Jeslik Well-Known Member

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    OKC (formerly W. IL, C.TN, & LV,NV)
    *** edited - better link - more detail -
    Check this link for common disease description & remedies...
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/PG055



    excerpted from http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/perennials/6130/3

    Pests and Diseases to Watch For
    Blossom End Rot (BER) - fruits rot from the blossom end. Highly acid soil and/or a lack of calcium is usually the problem. Dolomite lime will help over the long term - apply in your vegetable garden every spring. To effect your zucchinis this year, a careful application of hydrated lime may be used. I say careful because if you add too much it can burn your plants and render the soil far too alkaline. Hydrated lime is also known as Quick lime. You should be able to pick up a small bag at a garden or feed store. Ask them for explicit directions at the time of purchase.

    I've never had this problem; my problem was rotting from resting on the ground. Hope this helps. Good luck...
     

  3. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Tennessee
    The blossoms you see on the ground might be the male blossoms that don't produce squash and just fall off.
     
  4. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    West River SD
    If the female blooms didn't get pollenated then they rot and fall off. The heat is playing a BIG factor in setting fruit on for me this year. Avoid watering the blossoms themselves if you can also.
     
  5. eggladyj

    eggladyj Well-Known Member

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    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    It could very well be your plants are being attacked by the dreaded Squash Bug! I had the same problem you have described with zukes and have been battling them for about 3 weeks now. Look on the under side of the leaves for clutches of redish looking eggs, sometimes you will find them on the tops of the leaves but usually they will be on the back side. The newly hatched squash bus have a dark colored head and light greenish body, usually they are found in groups, the adults are usually found near the bottom of the plant or underneath the main stem. I usually find them when I water as they like to get out of the wet. From what I have found out about them is they live in the soil so are very hard to find, which I guess is why the watering helps in locating them. Pick all the eggs off you find and destroy them, a good killer for the young ones is to mix up some coffee and water in a spray bottle with a drop or two of liquid dish soap, I used about half a cup of coffee with about two cups of water. It kills the young bugs quickly! But I haven't noticed the adults even noticing the spray, and I don't know if it has any effect on the eggs at all. The adults are hard to catch, partly due to where they like to hang out and also I think cause they look so icky. I use needle nose pliers to get them and squish them. If you are diligent you can get them down to a point where you can get some squash from your plants again, but it's an on going thing. I have found also that the best time to find the adults is in the evening, but I check my plants twice a day for any signs. Another thing I have heard is to lay a flat piece of board on the ground close to the plant and in the morning lift it up and the bugs (adults) will be under it, haven't tried it yet but.....maybe it would work for you to find out if this is the problem you are having. Hope this helps cause I know how dissappointing it is go out looking for something to pick from the garden only to find them rotting before they are big enough! Good luck!
    Jeannine