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squash/zucchini blossoms

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squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  lilperu on 5/3/2014, 4:13 pm

Do you have to pick/eat the blossoms the day they bloom? I had one this morning and it's withered now. Does that just mean I didn't water enough or do they only last one day? Any tips on preparing them? I've got more on the way Smile
I've had them fried with cheese inside, but never made them myself. Yum.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/3/2014, 6:23 pm

Some cooking shows I've seen suggest people that want to preserve things that don't preserve easily should blanch them before throwing them in the fridge/freezer.

Still, I think the problem is with the inherent tender fragility of the blossom.

Last year I did the same thing as you did and got the same result. My squash and its flowers were well-watered. They're just delicate. Maybe that's why, though squash is extremely commonly grown and has very prolific flowers with great eye-appeal on the plate that should lead to premium pricing, you still hardly ever get served it anywhere.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  camprn on 5/4/2014, 7:57 am

The blossoms must be picked that day for preparation for the table.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4deFApRCQRw

More details on when to pick .
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/squash/harvesting-squash-flowers.htm

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males before females?

Post  lilperu on 5/5/2014, 11:31 am

So, if I pick the male flowers when they bloom for cooking, will it inhibit pollination of future female flowers? I would imagine that it doesn't matter if I pick males before the females open, because they can't be pollinated when they're closed, but I am a brand new gardener so I'd rather make sure. I would also imagine that there's a reason you get males before females. To attract bees??

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/5/2014, 5:12 pm

The males will appear more than once, and do nothing when there's no open females to pollinate, so you might as well eat them.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  Pollinator on 5/6/2014, 8:52 pm

@lilperu wrote:So, if I pick the male flowers when they bloom for cooking, will it inhibit pollination of future female flowers? I would imagine that it doesn't matter if I pick males before the females open, because they can't be pollinated when they're closed, but I am a brand new gardener so I'd rather make sure. I would also imagine that there's a reason you get males before females. To attract bees??

Since squash blossoms only last one day - or actually part of a day in warm weather, You won't really need the males from now for pollination of future female blossoms.

However, bees are creatures of habit - and the male blossoms richly reward them with lots of pollen, which is used to feed the brood. Once they get into the habit, they'll keep coming when the females bloom, even though the females don't give much reward. It may well be that the bees can't tell the difference, which is good, because then they'll go from male to female - which is exactly what you want.

The little squash bees take the first shift - when they are present - they are extremely sensitive to pesticide use in the area. They work from first light until a little after sunup. Then the bumble bees take over for the second shift.

I rarely see honey bees work squash in home gardens, as there are usually lots of more rewarding blossoms. They will do a great job in pollinating fields, where there is nothing but squash blossoms for them to work. This is why most squash growers place hives in the fields for pollination.

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when to pick which?

Post  lilperu on 5/16/2014, 6:15 pm

So, now I've got some zucchini and female flowers. Can/should I pick them? Does female flower blooming indicate that I should pick the fruit itself as well?

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  Pollinator on 5/17/2014, 1:05 am

@lilperu wrote:So, now I've got some zucchini and female flowers. Can/should I pick them? Does female flower blooming indicate that I should pick the fruit itself as well?

If you have both male and female blossoms, it's time to start saving the male blossoms, because they are needed for pollination. You should have bees all over these blossoms by now. If not, hand pollinate.

Pick the fruit when it's at the appropriate stage.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  yolos on 5/17/2014, 9:35 am

@Pollinator wrote:
@lilperu wrote:So, now I've got some zucchini and female flowers. Can/should I pick them? Does female flower blooming indicate that I should pick the fruit itself as well?

If you have both male and female blossoms, it's time to start saving the male blossoms, because they are needed for pollination. You should have bees all over these blossoms by now. If not, hand pollinate.

Pick the fruit when it's at the appropriate stage.

Pollinator - Do you mean you can save the male flowers to help pollinate the female flowers??  I went to the gardensouth website and didn't see anything about saving male flowers.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  Pollinator on 5/17/2014, 12:35 pm

@yolos wrote:
Pollinator - Do you mean you can save the male flowers to help pollinate the female flowers??  I went to the gardensouth website and didn't see anything about saving male flowers.

What I meant is that you don't want to pick and eat all the male blossoms, once the females start, because then they are needed by the bees, as the source of pollen for pollinating the female flowers.

If you should ever have a situation where you only have female flowers - yes it does occasionally happen - you might "borrow" a few male blossoms from a gardening friend for hand pollination. It can be any summer squash, not necessarily zuchinni, unless you plan on saving seed.

You can't really save male blossoms for more than a day or two. Pollen can be gathered and saved under refrigeration for several weeks, but that's a specialized technique.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  brainchasm on 5/17/2014, 12:43 pm

Timely topic, thanks!

My zucchini is just forming flowers right now (though the plant is really rather small), and of course we're hitting the 100s.

This should be fun.  Evil or Very Mad

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  Pollinator on 5/17/2014, 1:04 pm

@brainchasm wrote:Timely topic, thanks!

My zucchini is just forming flowers right now (though the plant is really rather small), and of course we're hitting the 100s.

This should be fun.  Evil or Very Mad

When I open a honey bee hive at 100 degrees, they look up at me and say, "Whew! It's hot!"

Hard to get them to do anything but carry water in that weather. You could work the bees naked with no danger, because they are so lazy.

I hope you have some squash bees, that will work before dawn to pollinate the squash blossoms.


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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  brainchasm on 5/17/2014, 1:07 pm

@Pollinator wrote:
@brainchasm wrote:Timely topic, thanks!

My zucchini is just forming flowers right now (though the plant is really rather small), and of course we're hitting the 100s.

This should be fun.  Evil or Very Mad

When I open a honey bee hive at 100 degrees, they look up at me and say, "Whew! It's hot!"

Hard to get them to do anything but carry water in that weather. You could work the bees naked with no danger, because they are so lazy.

I hope you have some squash bees, that will work before dawn to pollinate the squash blossoms.

I haven't seen ANY bees this year.  Not honey, not mason, not bumble.  Nothing.  I think the only pollination I'm getting is wind and happenstance.  My garden was rife with busy buzzing bodies this time last year.  It's depressing.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  Pollinator on 5/17/2014, 1:12 pm

@brainchasm wrote:
I haven't seen ANY bees this year.  Not honey, not mason, not bumble.  Nothing.  I think the only pollination I'm getting is wind and happenstance.  My garden was rife with busy buzzing bodies this time last year.  It's depressing.

Wind can do it for corn (though I also help with mine, for insurance), but won't help with other garden veggies. Most garden crops have heavy, sticky pollen that cannot become airborne.

You may have to learn hand pollination techniques.

I have quit the "wait and see" plan. If I don't see bees on those first blossoms, I go ahead and hand pollinate, to insure that I don't lose a couple vital weeks of production.

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Re: squash/zucchini blossoms

Post  jrfrommd on 7/2/2014, 5:48 pm

Now I'll admit I'm a little biased because Giada is easy on the eyes.....BUT......this aint healthy...but it sure is GOOD!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/fried-cheese-stuffed-zucchini-blossoms-recipe.html

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