Asked on May 30, 2013

How do you prevent zucchini rot?

by DudeSustainable
Hi! I'm growing zucchini in 5 gallon buckets (short on garden bed space, don't ask). Recently, our little zucchinis have been developing a rot. Can anyone help?
  12 answers
  • DudeSustainable DudeSustainable on May 31, 2013
    Thanks! Sounds super-easy when put like that!
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on May 31, 2013
    Good site. However, don't know as I'd want to add gypsum to 5 gal buckets. But you can use Calcium tablets :) Get the cheapest bottle you can find and just poke several of the tablets down into the soil. Also, you can use a solution of 1 tablespoon Epsom Salts to a gallon of warm water (mix well) and spray the plants and soil. ES contains magnesium, nobody ever seems to mention you need that as well as calcium for good results. Combined they cause a chemical reaction that allows the plant to absorb these trace minerals more readily. Works wonderfully well for tomato plants as well. :)
  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on May 31, 2013
    Check at a garden center too. You might be able to find a calcium fertilizer that is immediately available to the plant.
  • Sandra Cook Sandra Cook on May 31, 2013
    Egg shells. Especially easy if you boil some eggs, use the cooled water on them so they get some calcium right away then use the egg shells. I ran into this problem because I use composted manure, some of which is from horses so the manure is calcium deficient. I had blossom end rot on my tomatoes and squash last year but resolved with egg shells.
  • Judy Judy on May 31, 2013
    For longer term calcium I save my egg shells in a bowl to let them dry out all winter long then, when the bowl is getting full I coarsely crush them & put them in a zipper bag. In the spring I run them through my food processor to get them as fine as possible & sprinkle them liberally on my garden beds. I don't use shells from hard boiled eggs because I put a lot of salt in the water to make them easier to peel.
  • Donna Shipley Donna Shipley on Jun 01, 2013
    I use egg shells too, but leave them coarser to help protect my plants from slugs/snails! I use soda instead of salt for boiled eggs works well without adding salt.
    • Annie Niehouse Annie Niehouse on Jul 12, 2014
      @Donna Shipley Hi, the only thing about that is it kills worms, by cutting them.....or at least in our compost it did....I just ground it up and add to coffee grounds and tea leaves that have been used.....mix with compost or add to veggies .
  • Penster47 Penster47 on Jun 01, 2013
    If you will take your boiled eggs and IMMEDIATELY put them in ice cold water, crack the shell really good, and leave them in the water for about 5 min, they will peel easily. If you leave them in too long though, they don't peel well at all. ?? Did you know that fresh eggs are hard to peel no matter what you do?
  • Gayle Valverde Gayle Valverde on Jun 01, 2013
    Try adding some epsom salts...1 TBSP in 1 gallon of water. :P
  • DudeSustainable DudeSustainable on Jun 18, 2013
    Thanks for all the help, Hometalkers! I love this site, and it was a great experience. I wrote a quick summary post here:
  • Gayle Reynolds Sass Gayle Reynolds Sass on Jul 27, 2013
    My Zucchini plant is huge, lots of blossoms, but then no fruit.. what is going on? Do I need to add more Epsom Salts? I do not fertilize them, I compost so the soil is rich..
  • Melissa Gutilla Melissa Gutilla on Jul 10, 2014
    I had some blossom end rot at first- pull off the rotted items. Most sites I read said it will fix itself once the roots get bigger. It worked on my tomatoes and yellow squash. I did nothing and they are all coming in great now. I've gotten about 5 squash and all my tomatoes look great. I would let them go for another week or so.