Butternut squash splitting

by Bill Goodwin
(Mt. Vernon Wash. Usa)

My butternut squash have split and i dont know why. We did have one day of steady rain.

Comments for Butternut squash splitting

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Sep 19, 2010
Why Squash Split
by: Megan

This can happen to other vine fruits such as pumpkins, melons, cukes and also tomatoes. It's often because of just too much water, especially if artificial fertilizers and sometimes organic fertilisers have been used and there's a lot of nitrogenous growth. This big growth spurt is not good once the fruit are well formed, because they now need to ripen, rather than grow too big for their boots!

It helps to initially plant vine crops on mounds so that they are free draining, Make the mounds with a small depression on top and put one to three plants or seeds in so that the vines can go in all directions. Raised beds are similarly good for drainage,

Another reason for splitting squash, pumpkins and other is that they have been left too long to harvest in very hot weather. Sometimes it's OK to leave the fruit on until the vines die when colder weather comes, but it's best to pick them if there's a long hot spell.

The good news is that often the cracks in a split squash will heal over. The outside layer has a corky substance called 'suberin' which initially oozes out then sets or scabs. Suberin repels moisture and is there to stop water entering or leaving the inside tissues of the fruit. If bacteria have entered the split squash, nothing will save it and it will soon go rotten, so make sure the squash fruit are off the wet ground for a start.

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