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Summer squash question

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Summer squash question

Post  sanderson on 5/25/2013, 3:34 am

Some of my zucchini are beautiful and some are puny and fall off. Are the puny ones unfertilized and the healthy ones fertilized? I have only had one straight neck yellow squash and it only got to 2" and eventually fell off I read something about male and female flowers in cucumbers (?). Is it the same for summer squashes? Or are these unfertilized?

In this photo, the 2 zucchini in the lower right and the one in the background near the mix are the ones in question

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  yolos on 5/25/2013, 9:13 am

Yes, there are male and female flowers on zuccini and squash. The female flower is at the end of a baby zuccini. There is no small baby zuccini/squash on the male flower. If the female flower is not pollinated/fertilized the baby zuccini die and will fall off. If you find that the females are not getting pollinated, there are many videos that show how to hand pollinate them. I hand pollinate every female squash flower just to make sure it does get pollinated.

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  sanderson on 5/25/2013, 1:28 pm

Yolos, thank you.

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/25/2013, 7:37 pm

I think you can just use a small paint brush, gather pollen from the male flower and brush in onto the inside of the female flower.

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  jazzycat on 5/25/2013, 10:26 pm

Here is a very amusing video on how to hand pollinate squash type plants, by John Kohler. Very Happy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srfRonXRO4c

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  yolos on 5/25/2013, 10:53 pm

That is exaclty how I pollinate my squash.

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  Pollinator on 5/25/2013, 11:31 pm

Pollination is not an on/off thing; it's progressive. For more info, see:
http://gardensouth.org/2011/06/15/evaluating-squash-pollination/

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  sanderson on 5/26/2013, 2:01 am

Pollinator, good link.

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/26/2013, 7:06 pm

Good example!

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 5/26/2013, 8:00 pm

Thank you, this was VERY helpful. I've had a few small shriveled zucchini and one that I thought might have been the start of blossom end rot but know I know what the issue is.

I've had good bee activity, but one zucchini in particular has fruit and flowers growing at the very bottom and is hard to see or get into for me and when I look at it, I think also hard for the bees.

Morning coffee and pollinating will be my routine for the next few months :-)

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  Lemonie on 5/26/2013, 10:23 pm

I love this forum...I have just learned sooo much! Can't wait for my squash plants to get blossoming! Smile

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/28/2013, 2:49 pm

Good idea going out every morning for a pollination run!

I agree Lemonie, I learned about this last year and it didn't make sense to me at first that it was a pollination issue when a zucchini would grow a few inches and then die.

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Re: Summer squash question

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/28/2013, 2:59 pm

I have so much more available time this year since I don't have to dig cat poos out of my beds. I realize that digging poo out of my beds for probably nine cats was very time consuming for the last few years. Then there was the extra time spent trying to figure out what to do and the work itself in trying to keep them out of my garden. I had an attempted visit about a week ago and my dogs alerted me to it so I could let them outside to bark at the cat. My dogs can't get into the garden area because it is fenced but I went out to show my presence in my garden area to the cat.

On a nice (for me) note, one of my neighbors that feeds and gives milk to the ferrel cats has just put together three above ground beds that she bought online. I'm not sure if they are filled yet. The cats may make those beds their potty stations! Moo ha ha! Maybe poetic justice or revenge! I wouldn't take revenge myself but if the cats want to . . .!

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