Problem with butternut squash

Asked September 13, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT

We have grown butternut squash for several year with good success. This year the plants and immature fruit look fine. However as the squash begins to turn tan many of them have long lengthwise splits on the fruit. They run almost from end to end creating a 'V' grove. What is the cause? The splits are 'scabbed' over, so if this was cut away, is the rest of the fruit OK?

Washington County Vermont fruits and vegetables horticulture

1 Response

Hello Peter,

Two things cause butternut squash to split, too much water as the fruit is ripening and excessive heat. I think it is probably the water issue. After the fruit has formed and is ripening, the skin of the squash is no longer enlarging. If the fruit takes up more water, the skin will split.
Usually the fruit will heal the split and the fruit is perfectly fine to eat. If bacteria has entered and rot starts, these should be used first, and cut the bad spot outs before cooking.

Carol Quish