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Sweet Meat rot

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  • Sweet Meat rot

    Click image for larger version  Name:	sweetmeatblackrot.JPG Views:	0 Size:	102.4 KB ID:	13590
    This is one of my stored Sweet Meat winter squashes. First time I have grown this variety. And I was pleased about this hefty specimen which was the largest of them. As they are stored on the shelf in the bedroom, they get inspected daily and all looked well until yesterday when I noticed a slight change of colour on the top next to the rest of the stem on just one side. The change of colour on the top is much more visible today when I took the photo.

    Nothing was weeping, but when I cut into it, there was this strange, black, dry rot. We are used to weeping messes when squash goes off, but this dry rot is new to me. Fortunately there is plenty to rescue and freeze as the rot only extends to maybe a tenth of the squash, but I have never seen this before in decades of squash storing.

    Does anybody know what this is and how it is caused? It must have been going on for some time under the rind, but without any outward signs.

  • #2
    I'm sorry this happened to your prize specimen. Looks like it may be fungal black rot caused by Didymella bryoniae.



    • triffid
      triffid commented
      Editing a comment
      Do you think harvesting the fruit earlier would have much effect on the eating quality? Hopefully a tile or some form of barrier between soil and fruit would be enough to curtail the ingress of disease.
      By the way, have you eaten any of them yet?

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes I have triffid. Nice dry flesh and very sweet. We treated ourselves to some venison goulash yesterday (venison is plentiful here and not expensive) cooked in the slow cooker and with chunks of Sweet Meat added. They did not fall apart and the combination tasted divine. The flavour is unaffected by the rot. Clearly I remove all of it carefully beforehand. No off odors or flavours thankfully. Where we used to live, I often harvested almost immature squashes, because we sometimes used to get light frosts in June and it took winter squashes forever to get going. So often they were harvested barely full size and have always stored well and after storing tasted good. Taking them off earlier does not seem to be a stretch, because this is what I effectively have been doing. Just have to learn what works for here with more intense summers and accelerated growth and maturity. I will also try tiles, or rather small patio slabs.

    • triffid
      triffid commented
      Editing a comment
      That dish sounds absolutely delicious. I'm glad the Sweet Meat turned out well. I must try them in some kind of red meat casserole or stew. Perfect for the nippy weather.
      Good to know that winter squashes can be harvested early to finish curing in storage, with no ill effects.
      Would be useful to get them out of the way to make room for another crop before it gets too late in the season.