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Winter squash problem

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Winter squash problem

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/26/2010, 8:36 am

I've been growing spaghetti squash for many years and have never encountered this problem. The female buds are shrivelling up and dying before they grow to the size needed to bloom. The male flowers are blooming just fine and the foliage looks fine. I have two plants in the same bed and both set two squashes earlier in the season which are growing well. It's just any new female buds turn yellow and die. Very frustrating. The mexican grey zucchini 3' away in the same bed is doing fine as is the yellow squash. I've treated for both calcium and magnesium and a couple of weeks ago gave the bed a 1/2 strength solution of Miracle Grow clone fertilizer.

If anyone has any ideas, I'm certainly open -- I depend on spaghetti squash to see me through the winter months.

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Re: Winter squash problem

Post  martha on 5/26/2010, 10:03 pm

it sounds like maybe the female blossoms are not getting pollinated? In past years there wasn't a problem, but as the bee population dwindles, the chances of non-pollination increases.

My understanding is that if the female isn't pollinated within a certain time frame, the blossom will wither and die. Maybe try hand-pollinating and see what happens?

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Re: Winter squash problem

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/27/2010, 9:18 am

I hand pollinate all the squash. These are falling off way before they are large enough to have open blooms. The entire bud is about an inch long when they shrivel and fall off.

Here's a pic with my finger for reference. This is a spaghetti squash and would be 4X that large before the flower opens.

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