Butternut squash


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Have been growing squash for several years either by buying the plant or the last few years from seed. soil is good, I get a ton of squash each year. I still have squash in basement from last year.
But every year, the 1st group of squash rots off the vine, and then all others are fine. I don't add anything or do anything different. any idea as to how to save the 1st bunch of squash? thanks in advance
 
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By rot off the vine do you mean the squash remains very small but withers, turns brown and falls off. Or do you mean that the squash reaches a good size and then starts to turn black on the blossom end of the fruit like blossom end rot on a tomato? In both of these cases it is a pollination issue. The first instance being no pollination and in the second instance insufficient pollination.
 
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Something I have often wondered about is why many times the first one or two fully formed squash on a plant are smaller and a darker color than the later normal squash. This happens mainly on yellow squash or gold zucs. I don't think it is a pollination issue because the squash are fully formed, have the normal number of seeds and show no sign of any type of rot. They are just about 1/2-2/3rds of normal size and if they get any bigger it takes a long time. And the color is different. I have even let them stay on the plant until another squash grew into its regular normal picking size and it only grew very little and seemed to become a little firmer or harder plus a darker color. Any answers to why this can be?
 
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It would appear to be related to something that is not mobile in the plant. Or at least the cell growth having been set and sent out into the world cannot then be further effected. That will be an interesting reading point to follow on the subject of hormone panels.
 

MaryMary

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Something I have often wondered about is why many times the first one or two fully formed squash on a plant are smaller ... (snip) ... have the normal number of seeds ... (snip) ... They are just about 1/2-2/3rds of normal size ... (snip) ... seemed to become a little firmer or harder ... (snip) ... Any answers to why this can be?

I'm purely spitballing here, but I'm wondering if it might be the plants way of trying to ensure it leaves seeds to grow the next year. Consider this - there are an awful lot of flowers that must be deadheaded throughout the season. Once the plant produces seeds, it "thinks" it's done.

So, from a "just trying to reproduce" kind of viewpoint, the first squash would be closest to the roots. The plant has already found this to be a hospitable environment. It stands to reason that any seeds left there would have a good chance of growing the next year. (It's a good place for the kids to grow up. :joyful:)

It is half the size, with the normal amount of seeds - in essence, it's a "seed bomb." Maybe it becomes firmer or harder in an effort to not rot through before the winter is over? (Maybe the rind serves as a kind of cocoon.)





Now, I'm curious - I wonder how the seeds from that first squash would grow, as compared to squash from later in the cycle. :unsure: Would they be more viable? Have more vigorous growth? I didn't grow squash this year. Have you southerners already had your first squash? :nailbiting: :nailbiting: Hmm... @Durgan? @Tjohn? Anyone up for an experiment? :geek:
 
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I'm purely spitballing here, but I'm wondering if it might be the plants way of trying to ensure it leaves seeds to grow the next year. Consider this - there are an awful lot of flowers that must be deadheaded throughout the season. Once the plant produces seeds, it "thinks" it's done.

So, from a "just trying to reproduce" kind of viewpoint, the first squash would be closest to the roots. The plant has already found this to be a hospitable environment. It stands to reason that any seeds left there would have a good chance of growing the next year. (It's a good place for the kids to grow up. :joyful:)

It is half the size, with the normal amount of seeds - in essence, it's a "seed bomb." Maybe it becomes firmer or harder in an effort to not rot through before the winter is over? (Maybe the rind serves as a kind of cocoon.)





Now, I'm curious - I wonder how the seeds from that first squash would grow, as compared to squash from later in the cycle. :unsure: Would they be more viable? Have more vigorous growth? I didn't grow squash this year. Have you southerners already had your first squash? :nailbiting: :nailbiting: Hmm... @Durgan? @Tjohn? Anyone up for an experiment? :geek:
Interesting points. It would appear that the early squash is making sure that viable seeds will be available for reproduction. And if the fruit stops growing is it doing this to put energy into its seeds thus making these seeds "stronger" than a later, younger fruits seeds? Makes sense................ I've been eating squash for almost 2 months so I can't do any experimenting this year.
 
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