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Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

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Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

Post  anymoron on 6/27/2010, 4:16 pm

Hello everyone

I'm a new SFG gardner and new to gardening in general. As such I have a few questions about my squash. It appears that all of the blossoms are getting clipped or chewed off the plants and are ending up on the ground. I've been watching this phenomenon for a couple of weeks now and would like to know if this is normal behavior for squash or if something more nefarious is going on. To me it looks like something is cutting or chewing the stem and leaving the blossom. I've read a number of posts on numerous forums and some say: if they are male blossoms they fall off, others say it could be squirrels or possum or some other kind of animal. Any help would greatly appreciated.

I can try to attach pictures if that would be helpful.

Thanks

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Re: Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

Post  Lavender Debs on 6/27/2010, 4:32 pm

Before or after they bloom?

Honestly, I've never spent this much time daily in my garden, before it has been out behind the chicken house, but this year my garden is right off my back porch. So I'll just say that on my zucchini, both male and female flower bloomed, folded shut and are still on the plant.

Deborah... don't know if that helps
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Re: Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

Post  Megan on 6/27/2010, 4:37 pm

My cukes have dropped a lot of blooms, apparently male...but blooms higher on the plant seem fine. My zucchino hasn't dropped any. The crookneck squash hasn't begun to bloom, and the watermelon is only just starting.

Do you live in an area where you'd expect to have a lot of animals?
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Rabbits and Squirrels

Post  anymoron on 6/27/2010, 4:59 pm

I have both Rabbits and Squirrels.

I believe the rabbits have been eating things like pe

I've had a number of things eaten or dug up I presume by rabbits and/or squirrels. While I have seen both flee when I come around the corner, I have never actually caught anything in the act. Here is a partial list:

Beans all the leaves down to just the stalk remaining
Peppers with all lower leaves eaten
Okra leaves eaten
Cauliflower almost all the leaves on one gone
Collard, down to about 1/4 of 1 leaf
Anaheim Chili - two eaten down to the roots
Onion pulled out an partially eaten
Tomato and squash plants completely dug up
Numerous holes dug in various squares

I now have 2 ft chicken wire around most boxes but not the vertical squares or deep boxes.

I have currently have two blossoms I'm keeping an eye on in a square that now has chicken wire, I'm waiting to see if it happens again. Then I will know it's not rabbits. Next I was planning to wait for another blossom and then put chicken wire on top as well, that would rule out squirrels and birds unless they can get through the chicken wire. But before I let the anti-varmit defenses get too far out of hand, I thought I should check with more experienced gardeners to see if this is normal behavior and it's not an animal or pest as I have been presuming.

My daughters joke that I'm starting to turn into Mr McGregor.

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Re: Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

Post  Megan on 6/27/2010, 5:01 pm

WAY outside my experience... but best of luck!
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Re: Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

Post  anymoron on 6/27/2010, 5:02 pm

[quote="Megan"]My cukes have dropped a lot of blooms,

When this happens do they just drop off onto the ground?

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Re: Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

Post  Megan on 6/27/2010, 5:12 pm

Yes, I just find them lying on the ground beneath the plant. The foliage is not disturbed in any way.

There are dropped squash blossoms in both pictures. The other stuff is mostly chives which I shredded and dropped around the plants in hopes of driving off pests.



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Thanks for the response.

Post  anymoron on 6/29/2010, 10:26 pm

I think that's it.

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Re: Squash blossoms appear to be falling off. is this normal?

Post  revanneosl on 7/2/2010, 7:05 am

The nice folks at Perdue University department of horticulture have put out an article, telling you everything you need to know about blossoms dropping off your squashes.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/sqblossomdrop.html

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