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Howdy,  Got a problem.  Squash grow about two inches long and stop.  Plants are robust looking but small as well.  Suspect nutrition.  Nitrates run 20 to 40 ppm and light is good.  18 hour days under artificial light.  I supplement iron and potassium.  Any ideas?

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If your talking about the fruit itself...grab a q-tip and start transferring pollen from the male flower to the female flower. What you are calling "squash" (the 2" inch or so mini looking fruit at the base of the female flowers) is really just the flowers ovary. It will only go unfertilized for so long before it swells a tiny bit, then dies away...barren and sad 

So unless you have some bees or other pollinators handy to "deliver the package", get in there and give the stamen and pistils a hand 

Thanx fo da help, Vlad.  I do hand pollinate the blossoms.  Should have had 7 or 8 inch long summer squash in just a few days, but they got to size and then just stopped for over a week.  

Hand pollinating my eggplant is a trip.  I use a sonic toothbrush.  Bees will buzz their wings while working, but I never thought much of it.  Turns out they know what they're doing.  We'll see how the eggplants grow.  They take forever, so hopefully this problem will be fixed in time to head any further problems off at the pass.  Thanx again,  DH

what is your light spectrum like on your lights what kind of lights are you using?

Hi Steve,  There are two plants in separate grow beds.  One is lit by a 400 watt HID and the other by 250 watts (2 X 125W) spiral florescent grow lights.  Both plants are the same size and are behaving identically.  Day cycle is 16 hours on and 8 hours off.  Thanks for the reply   DH

I don't believe any of the cucurbits (including squash) are known to exhibit photoperiodic traits. So, as long as their is enough usable light, it's particular spectrum or day/night mimicking cycles should not really matter. (16/8 is fine). Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) that the HID produces will begin to fall off discernibly after about 2 years...requiring you to change out that bulb...florous in about a quarter of that time generally...

Building upon Steve's ideas of 'light related' - how old are those bulbs you're using? Could it be possible that the time has come to change them out?

Another possibility...I'm just puttin' it out there though because around here, in these parts, I've seen growers have very similar problems (stunted growth, cruddy fertility, little or no fruit set) because of Boron deficiencies.

Should you ever decide to want to ever supplement Boron...please, please don't just go tossing a bit in "willy-nilly" and hope it works out (I'm not saying you would, but you'd be surprised...)

Boron has among the narrowest range of min/max thresholds of any of the trace elements. So it's very, very easy to over do it...which is as bad, or worse, than not having enough of it.

So if you decide to go that route, ask for some guidance from somebody (a decent hydro store, or grower might help). 



Vlad Jovanovic said:

I don't believe any of the cucurbits (including squash) are known to exhibit photoperiodic traits. So, as long as their is enough usable light, it's particular spectrum or day/night mimicking cycles should not really matter. (16/8 is fine). Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) that the HID produces will begin to fall off discernibly after about 2 years...requiring you to change out that bulb...florous in about a quarter of that time generally...

Building upon Steve's ideas of 'light related' - how old are those bulbs you're using? Could it be possible that the time has come to change them out?

Another possibility...I'm just puttin' it out there though because around here, in these parts, I've seen growers have very similar problems (stunted growth, cruddy fertility, little or no fruit set) because of Boron deficiencies.

Should you ever decide to want to ever supplement Boron...please, please don't just go tossing a bit in "willy-nilly" and hope it works out (I'm not saying you would, but you'd be surprised...)

Boron has among the narrowest range of min/max thresholds of any of the trace elements. So it's very, very easy to over do it...which is as bad, or worse, than not having enough of it.

So if you decide to go that route, ask for some guidance from somebody (a decent hydro store, or grower might help). 

Hello again Vlad,  Thanks for staying with me on this.  For the matter of light, the fluorescents went on in April, and the HID is about a month old.  I'm going to get a sodium lamp for the one bed and see if that helps.  I'll look into the Boron thing.  I use spring water and it certainly can have its own little character traits.  Am also planting another kind of squash.  That would almost be too easy, but it's worth a shot.  I'll give a shout when I know something.  Thanx again.  DH

Are you getting plenty of male flower production or mostly females?


More males, but enough females.  Had zucchinis before but they produced ONLY males.  That was when the system was new and so was the learning curve, so I didn't make much of it.  Thanx for the interest,  DH

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