Zucchini Fruits With Holes. Help Solve The Mystery

rjgrippin(9)August 17, 2008

I tried posting this yesterday and I can't find the post today so, I'm trying again.

I live in Hawaii and I'm growing Zucchini in my containers. The plants themselves have looked better, I've got some yellowing on the leaves and some are turning brown. I think I can correct this.

What I can't figure out is the cause of my fruit being eaten. I don't know what my enemy is so I don't know how to engage him. This is the third fruit that has grown to about six inches, then developed two tiny holes towards the end of the fruit, turned yellow, gotten soft and then I pulled them from the vine to investigate.

I'm attaching a photo of the inside of the fruit with little worm like larvae having a feast.

The reason I mention Hawaii is that I don't think it's the dreaded SVB as I see no other evidence on the vine. I do have small ants hanging out but not many after I provided them a cornmeal snack.

I've got new blossoms on the vine right now and I would love for them to develop into a zucchini that I can throw on the grill or make some bread out of. Please help stop whatever pest is getting to my zuchs before I do

Thanks for your help.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You didn't attach your picture, but it could be blossom end rot (BER). BER is caused by a lack of Ca in the soil, or a cultural condition that prevents the plant from taking up Ca. The possibilities are:
A) a true deficiency of Ca
B) too much P, or Mg in the soil (interferes w/Ca uptake)
C) high container/root temperatures
D) drought stress (wilting)
E) too little air/too much water in soils
F) high humidity
I may have forgotten something, or it may not be BER, but it's a good guess, based on the info provided. Are you using a high P fertilizer or adding Epsom salts by any chance?


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 2:55PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

PS - if the holes/worms/maggots are on the proximal (vine) end, instead of the distal (blossom) end, suspect it is the larval stage of the squash vine borer, a wasp-like moth that lays eggs in early summer on the stem base of squash/zucchini/pumpkins/gourds.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Thanks A1 for the response. I wasn't able to figure out how to post a picture. If I had, the photo would show two pencil point size holes on the blossom end with yellowing around them. I really wish I knew how to post pictures. I've added calcium to the soil about two weeks ago because I was experiencing blossom end rot with my tomatoes and figured everything was in the same soil.

As far as the other nutrient deficiencies, I'm using an organic potting mix with steer manure compost on top every couple of weeks.

The temps here stay in the mid 80s during the day and my plants see about 6 hours of sun. I water for 20 minutes before the sun comes up using a sprinkler, and occasionally in the evening depending on how the plants look.

The trades have been blowing regular. The wind is calm in the morning but blows throughout the day on a consistent basis.

As far as the SVB, I don't even know if they are present here on Oahu. I've seen no other evidence and I'm looking every day. The only insects I see is the small ants and even those are on the decline.

I appreciate your thoughts. If you tell me how to put pictures here, I have some quality ones.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:38AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Scroll down to How do I include images ...?


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 9:19AM
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Here's links to photos.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:23AM
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I live on the Big Island and have the same exact problem. I cut open a fruit and found a small worm like larvae in there. I am not sure what is getting my zucchini either. I was successful some years back growing it in a different spot in my yard no problems. Not sure what is going on I am going to call the Ag dept and see if they have any answer. I pulled all my plants and put in new seeds. When they are mature I will be ready to combat whatever is after them!!!!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 2:43PM
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