Blossom end rot in courgettes and squashes

We suspect a few of our growers out there may struggle with blossom end rot this season due to the dry weather that we’ve had lately. Once the fruit is affected, there’s no going back, but you can prevent other fruits from the same plant from being affected.

Blossom end rot is recognisable by the very end of the squash or courgette turning brown/black and rotting as it grows. They basically get a soggy bottom. Mary Berry wouldn’t be impressed. It happens when the plant is short of calcium, but realistically they will be short of calcium because there is not enough water in the soil for them to draw the calcium up though the roots. (It’s unlikely that your soil will actually be deficient in calcium).

In this dry weather we’ve had lately, it’s easy to let the soil dry out – your plants may look fine on the outside, so it’s difficult to spot when they need more water (yellowing leaves are a quick sign that your plants need more water) which is what makes us suspect that quite a few of our Rocketeers will see blossom end rot in their squashes and courgettes this year.

The good news is that blossom end rot is not a contagious disease so if one courgette on a plant gets it, then it doesn’t mean that the other ones will. Just try to keep your plants well watered so that the soil is consistently moist and the new fruits should be ok. Good luck!