Squash splitting


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Squash i planted has doubled in size but noticed today it is splitting. What’s the cause?
 

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It looks sunburned. They are hollow tubes and have shallow roots so even wind can thrash them, but that white area looks blanched like sunscald. The pics show up a little fuzzy on my phone. Did you harden them off at all or just put them out? Bama? Hey cuz!
 
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It looks sunburned. They are hollow tubes and have shallow roots so even wind can thrash them, but that white area looks blanched like sunscald. The pics show up a little fuzzy on my phone. Did you harden them off at all or just put them out? Bama? Hey cuz!
Yep, Montgomery. Gonna be honest first time gardening and don’t know what “harden them off” means. I planted them straight from pot I bought them.
 
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Seed planting in the cold is kept artificially warm and lit with enough energy from lights to get the plant up and sellable. They come out tender into the sun like my pasty white legs. I burn if I get too much sun too fast, and so will a baby plant. The procedure is along the lines of putting them in a dappled shade area then a part shade area then half day sun then full sun. Some folks do it by counting hours of full sun and then taking them back to dappled sun across a span of a week or so. The basic idea being to allow the plant time to grow the chlorophyl and tougher cells on the meristem that allows for success in the external environment. It happens as it grows if you wait and plant seed when it is warm.

Sometime folks put them under clear covers and do other things too, but it can get awfully hot there also. Good in winter maybe but even spring has sun that can make it too hot in such an covered pot. Temperature is a really big deal for plant chemistry. Soil temps for root growth is especially important.
 
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The plant sits on the west side of the house and gets 11-7 sun. Should I move the plant to get less sun until it matures more? Can the plant recover? Also do I need to split the seedlings?
 
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@Chuck can answer better than I can. Hang on this post is a phone call

I almost bet your wall is brick or some heat sink. A pic is useful. Nobody thinks about hot walls double heating a plant. Do not touch any curcubit roots once it has come up if you can help it. Their sensitivity is greater than that of the old story of the princess and the pea. Weeding alone will kill some plants for you by the time you understand what I am saying.
 
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My walls are wood light blue/gray in color but it is 2-3 foot away from A/C unit so that could be a factor. Both plants are in whiskey barrels. I don’t have many options/space to put the plants but if that’s causing problems I could move it. Honestly have not thought about the heat from it. Again I’m very new to this so any knowledge is greatly appreciated. I will get a picture tomorrow.
 
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Squash plants have hollow stems and therefore not as strong as "solid" stems. Three things cause split stems, Vine Borers, improper/irregular watering and mechanical damage. Split stems are really no big deal and is easily fixed. Just cover up the stem with soil just passed the next leaf node. It will root at the node.
As far as your plant is concerned this probably happened mechanically, that is by a wind storm. The wind blew the stem back and forth and a stress crack formed and the crack lengthened. It will not affect the production. If you don't want to put a shovel full of soil over the split stem it will probably be OK. It will callus at the edge of the split and close up the entrance into the interior of the stem. But, covering with soil is the better option.
 
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We have had 2 tornado watches in the last 2 weeks with strong winds so that’s definitely likely. I will cover with soil. Thank you both. Excited about eating my own harvest
 
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In your post #7 you asked if you needed to split the seedlings. In the picture it shows 5 stems. Did you plant 5 seeds in the same hole? If you did you cannot split the seedlings as the roots are all intertwined and severe damage would probably be done trying to separate them. Just snip off 4 of them. You never plant more than one seed unless you are unsure of germination and even then they are separated by an inch or two. Squash are usually planted in hills with the seeds in numerous places around on the hill. Some varieties, IIRC some varieties of scalloped squash, have numerous seedling stems so perhaps this is what happened?
 
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I bought them as seedlings and was worried about cutting it early so I let it go. Its in about a 3' whiskey barrel. Is that enough for 2 seedlings or should I only keep one? It is crooked neck if that matters
 

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