DIY: Squashing Rot

Squash has always been a staple garden item, but keeping it from turning bad on the vine has been a gardener’s battle since time began. I’m not saying that this trick is going to fix the entire squash crop, but it may cut down on the amount you throw away this summer.

The key to squash rot is keeping it up off the ground or keeping it from getting too wet. Many times I’ve seen different types of trellis and frames for squash and other plants to try and keep them up off the ground and free of mold and rot. The problem I’ve found with these systems is that unless you have a specific climbing verity of squash you have to continually tie the squash to the trellis and then hope that it stays. This method uses simple time saving steps to get a little distance between the squash and the rot…

Step 1) Place a simple layer of old newspaper under the squash plants, you’ll have to lift each runner of the squash plant and slide the newspaper underneath be sure to get the newsprint as far under the plant as possible, this helps to block out the weeds and is the first layer of insulation between the squash and the ground.

Step 2) Add a layer of mulch or straw, even old leaves or packing peanuts will do. Anything that is going to allow water to run through and dissipate into the ground while holding the squash fruit up enough that it can dry out after each rain or watering. I love this method because it gives the garden a nice clean look and is also a great way to practice reuse.

Step 3) As the squash plants continue to grow and as the fruits mature in size all you have to do is use your old newspapers and keep extending the cushion with the plant. Then sit back and enjoy your fresh produce and tasty squash, no more throwing out those rotten fruits after a big rain.

Additional Notes:

-With larger verities of squash, like ‘butternut’ and ‘zucchini’ there have been times that I’ve used a coffee can or old bottle to place under the fruit itself filled with straw or mulch, this gives a raised bed for the fruit to sit on and allows particularly large fruits some room to grow.

-I also wanted to add that this method of growing squash isn’t going to fix all your problems there are still many pests and other types of diseases that can afflict a plant and cause rot or other types of decay. Always check with your local gardeners association, or horticulture club as well as simply doing research online about your area, and the pest and growing practices that fit your local climate. As always the best advice often comes from the old guy sitting in his rocking chair, those types often seem to have a good idea about almost everything. ;) Enjoy!

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About cale:

A student of life, with a degree in architectural design. I have a passion to see design change our world for better, and to grow the worlds greatest garden!

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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