Not sure if this the right section to post but here I go..
I've been growing butternut rogosa violina gioia and if been having problems with the fruit splitting/ cracking in half where the squash bottle necks. I water at least 2 times a week. The plant is trellised, and the Climate is Boulder co, so zone 5a. Summer time with Highs in high 80s to around 93 with nights around high 60
I've been losing a lot of butternut
Any one els have this issue or has experienced it?
I just might.. Have you experienced the same issue?
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 4 years ago
Because I grow my own seeds, I'm a culling maniac... Whenever a squash plant produces fruit that looks like that in my garden, it is yanked out as soon as I notice, so that it won't contribute pollen to the patch...
Hey, I've had a similar experience with my cucumbers before, and I'm willing to go out on a limb here and say that you probably have a pH issue. If the soil (like, perhaps, a limestone clay?) is too high in pH, calcium (and many other nutrients) becomes unavailable to plants, a defense mechanism of roots to try and avoid alkalinity poisoning. Its kind of crazy, actually; the calcium is usually in such profusion in these type of soils, yet unavailable to plants. Reminds me of the myth of Narcissus... When calcium, potassium, iron, and silica, what you might call "reinforcers" of cell walls, are unavailable, the fruits will be brittle and overly watery-tasting, a side effect of the fruit's inability to hold sugars in suspension without the proper nutrients. In addition, most fugal, bacterial, and pesty infections are the result of some sort of nutrient deficiency or excess, so maybe you have a bight or rot fugus, which would be tied to your soil issues. What is the pH of your soil? Because i could be totally off base, and your soil could be too acidic, which could, again, point to a calcium deficiency, but having lived in your area before, I'm stickin with alkalinity as the suspect. Compost heavy in pine needles or just a pine needle mulch will help; Nettles, seaweed, burdock, mullein, comfrey, cabbage- the leaves of all of these are high in nutrients, and are great all around fertilizers. If dried, crush em up and lightly dig in around the root base, then water with sun-warmed h2o. If fresh, blend them in a food processor, then either strain to produce a concentrate for foliar feeds, or, again, dig in around root base and water with warm h2o. Umm, coffee grounds and eggshells, ground oak bark and balsalmic vinegar... Whatever the remedy, once you apply it, I'd pull any weird fruits and shoot for a reset- early picking leads to higher late season yields on cucurbits.
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