I bought what were supposed to be a straight neck squash plants. The plants...

Asked June 7, 2013, 2:53 PM EDT

I bought what were supposed to be a straight neck squash plants. The plants grew to about 1 foot tall and the fruit looks like straight neck squash, but only gets about 3" long and 1/2" in dia., than stops growing and rots. Tastes bitter. What is it?

St. Mary's County Maryland vegetables squash yellow summer squash

3 Responses

Your squash plants were probably mis-marked at the point of purchase. Crookneck squash and straightneck squash differ only slightly in flavor and texture. Both can be interchangeable in your culinary dishes. Your squash plant seems to be in excellent health, and the squash shown in the photo are perfect size for harvest.
If allowed to stay on the vine too long, summer squash can become slightly more bitter.
The weather conditions recently have promoted the appearance of a fungal disease known as "Wet Rot", Choanephora cucurbitarum, which causes the blossom end of summer squash to rot. Although we see no signs of the disease in your photograph, if you have experienced such problems, you should harvest the young, tender squash before it occurs. The disease is exacerbated by overhead irrigation, over fertilization, and poor air circulation. Careful attention to these factors can help to avoid the problem.

For future referance:
The fruit only grew to 3 inches long and 1/2 inch in dia. because it was not being pollinated. We Pollinated the fruit by hand and the Squash grew to normal size, which was about 6 to 8 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. It tastes very good.

We looked it up on Google.

Thank you for pointing out our oversight. As you probably discovered, pollinating insects don't always fly when we have cloudy, rainy weather. Many homeowners suffer similarly if they use or over-use pesticides in and around the garden. Enjoy your garden and we hope you have a fruitful year.