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Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

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Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 10/11/2013, 3:26 am

This is my first time growing winter squash.  I know the main stem and leaf stems. But, in the armpits, there are three stems.  A flower close the the main stem, a stem with tendrils, and a third stem.  On the third stem are more leaves and flowers.  Where do the female flowers grow?  It seems the flowers close to the main stem are male.  ??  I Googled the subject and looked at a lot of photos trying to figure out where the female flower / fruit will be. Will it be super obvious which is male and which is female?  I have to hand pollinate.

And yes, it think they have PM in this damper cool weather.  Baking soda spray and Neem spray.

In this photo, the main stem goes off to the left at the green stretchy tape and the leaf stem points straight up 12:00.  In the armpit, there is a short stem with a flower and a tendril stem, and leaning towards the right is the mystery stem with more leaves and what looks like flowers.  This repeats at every leaf stem armpit.


Second photo is higher up the plant and the 3 armpit stems are smaller.


Thank you.

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  camprn on 10/11/2013, 6:58 am

yes it will be obvious where the new squash are, you will see little tiny baby squash behind the bloom. It takes a long time for the female flowers to show up but they look different from the male flowers.

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 10/11/2013, 12:32 pm

Thanks. One of the "males" is ready to open but I didn't see any females.

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  TxGramma on 10/11/2013, 12:50 pm

Hand Pollination This article has a pic of a female acorn squash flower.

How to Grow Squash This one has pics of butternut squash.

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 10/11/2013, 2:51 pm

TxGramma, The second article really helped. Thanks

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 11/19/2013, 8:16 pm

I think I should remove these.  Is this powdery mildew?  I have several fruit that I hand pollinated with instructions from TxGramma's articles, so I know I can grow them.. Won't hurt me to pull them if folks agree I should.


This fruit looks a little deformed??

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  camprn on 11/19/2013, 8:23 pm

Yes, just remove the affected leaves. The vine will put out more foliage.

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 11/20/2013, 3:06 pm

Camp,  ALL of the leaves are affected!  I have carrots, radishes and garlic planted in the same box - will they be infected?  Thank you, Newbie

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/20/2013, 4:31 pm

Did you try spritzing the leaves w/ baking soda, soap & water?  Diluted urine is supposed to work also but I've yet to try it.  I don't think it will affect your other plants.  Peas maybe but not what you listed, in my experience.  And I get LOTS of PM!

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  camprn on 11/20/2013, 6:46 pm

@sanderson wrote:Camp,  ALL of the leaves are affected!  I have carrots, radishes and garlic planted in the same box - will they be infected?  Thank you, Newbie
Is your growing season coming to a close? If you have some weeks left, give it a try and take off all the foliage. The plant will make more. Call it an experiment if you will. I would steer clear of the urine remedy. The baking soda at this point won't really help a whole heck of a lot. It is useful before a full infection though. This is of course only my opinion in what may be a last ditch effort to save your plants.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 12/1/2013, 2:04 pm

We're expecting a freeze this week and I will try covering with sheets.  The PM is an embarrassment Embarassed  but doesn't seem to be affecting the fruit.

CC - yes, I spritzed with baking soda and some Neem, but then I stopped and the PM went rabid.

I took these photos this morning.  One plant grew over to the gazebo where I have the summer clothes line.


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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  littlejo on 12/1/2013, 4:57 pm

sanderson, looks like you have managed numerous fruit! For the freeze, try to cover the plant where it goes into the ground and any fruit. If it is a light frost, it may get most of the leaves and the PM, but the plant may survive. If it doesn't make it thru, be sure to pick the fruit for it could ruin if left on a dead plant.
I had about the same thing with a zucchini about 3 wks ago, had a hard freeze, but got 4 zucchini in Nov.
You must be closer to zone 9 than to 8.
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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 12/1/2013, 8:41 pm

Littlejo,  Do you mean that the fruit will continue to ripen in the house!!  Yipee!  I used a paint brush to get these pretty ladies.  The flowers are big enough for me to see to collect yellow pollen and dust the fruit.

I think I'm in a micro zone of 9a but I put 8-9 just to give folks a general idea.

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  sanderson on 12/12/2013, 11:21 pm

We are eating one of the 4 spaghetti squash I picked after the hard freeze killed the plants. A little 7 incher, baked with oil, salt and pepper Similar taste to yellow squash so DH may actually eat his 1/4 th! The skin is soft so we are eating it also. Hope we don't regret it!

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

Post  Marc Iverson on 12/13/2013, 2:07 pm

I eat the skin on pattypan squashes and have shredded the skin on yellow zucchini into zucchini bread. Deer eat the neighbor's pumpkins right through the skin. I suppose as long as you like eating it, you shouldn't have problems.

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Re: Winter Squash - help with identifying parts of plant

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