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shriveled squash

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shriveled squash

Post  notagreenthumb on 6/8/2011, 10:09 am

Help. My crookneck yellow squash is making the prettiest blooms and then gorgeous baby squash BUT then they shrivel and feel hollow. I have pulled off about 20. A few had brown on the end. Sad I was so looking forward to that first skillet of squash. Does anyone know what I can do?

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Re: shriveled squash

Post  H_TX on 6/8/2011, 10:39 am

This is my first year gardening and my squash are doing the same thing. I searched and I think I found the reason. This is due to poor pollination. This morning I saw a female flower open so I picked off a male flower and attempted to help polinate the female flower. Hopefully this is the only problem.

My squash plants are very thick and the leaves almost completely cover up the flowers. Should I cut back some of the leaves or will the bees and other pollinators still be able to find the flowers without my help?

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Post  notagreenthumb on 6/8/2011, 10:48 am

I read about pollination causing problems too, but I thought that was during flowering, not after the squash were already 2-3 inches long. I need to research this more. Thanks for your help.

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Re: shriveled squash

Post  petals1973 on 6/8/2011, 12:10 pm

I've been having squash problems too. My fruit was shriveling up and falling off. I finally figured out that the older leaves were turning yellow too. It turned out to be the dreaded squash vine borer. I hope that is not the case for you. My plants still have not recovered.
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  H_TX on 6/8/2011, 12:45 pm

notagreenthumb:
From what I understand the female flower has a small squash under it that is already about an inch or so long. It continues to grow for a little bit but then shrivels up due to poor pollination. I think we see that little squash and we get excited but really it has not grown that much from when it was still attached to the female flower.

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Re: shriveled squash

Post  Pam Hazelwood on 6/8/2011, 10:55 pm

I just posted a question a minute ago on this exact problem. (Obviously I overlooked this posting). I hate to admit that I don't know the difference between the male and female flower. I've seen a few bees this summer, but not many.....wonder if that is the problem.

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Re: shriveled squash

Post  Miss M on 6/8/2011, 11:10 pm

Yes, the female flowers already have baby squash attached before the flowers open. This baby can be 1-3" in length or so before the flower opens.

As I understand it, there are two possibilities for you, as mentioned before:

Poor pollination
Squash vine borer

Let's hope it's the former, not the latter.

I remember reading that one male flower can be used to "paint" up to four female flowers, and this should be done in the morning. Someone said the viability of the pollen plummets after 11:00. You take the male flower, carefully remove the petals, and then use the stub to paint the pollen into the female flowers.

Bees and such will have no trouble finding your blooms, but yes, you can trim them back. You can cut back all leaves below the current fruit. Once you harvest that fruit, you can cut off all leaves below the next fruit. You can even drive in a strong stake, and tie the plant to it, training it up the stake. Mine are currently about 3 feet up in the air. What a Face

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Re: shriveled squash

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 6:27 pm

Notagreenthumb and PamHazelwood

Check the video link on this post Hand Pollenation it may help you with your falling off baby squash.

It is a good video about hand pollenating and SVB too.
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  shannon1 on 6/11/2011, 2:50 am

Notagreenthumb I had to hand pollinate all my squash this year. I think you are going to have to change your name soon . SFG gives everyone who who uses this method and Mel's Mix a green thumb in no time.
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  Lurach on 6/14/2011, 5:44 pm

Could this also be a problem in cucumbers? My pickling cukes have produced quite a few babies, but only one has made it to harvest so far. The rest have all turned yellow and withered once they reache 3/4-1 inch long. I've been wracking my brain, assuming it was a nutrient issue. Could it be a pollination issue? Do squash vine borers affect cucumber plants? (Please say no, please say no...)

Thanks,
Lu
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  camprn on 6/14/2011, 6:08 pm

If you are not seeing bees I would guess it is a pollination issue. Hand pollination would increase the likelihood that you will get fruit. Good luck. Very Happy
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  Lurach on 6/14/2011, 6:10 pm

Camprn - I've seen only 2 bees all season. =( Guess I'm off to get a paintbrush tomorrow. Thanks!

~Lu
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/15/2011, 8:18 am

SVB and squash bugs both love cucumbers, so keep an eye out for them.
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  Lurach on 6/15/2011, 10:23 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:SVB and squash bugs both love cucumbers, so keep an eye out for them.

Awwww...sad face. I'll have to take a closer look, although I have no idea how I'll find anything in all that green jumble. My cuke plants are really healthy looking and growing like crazy. That's a good sign though, right?
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/15/2011, 11:08 am

Yes, that is a good sign, but it's also an invitation to bugs. Just keep looking, and you'll notice if any thing starts to change.
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Re: shriveled squash

Post  retired member 2 on 6/17/2011, 10:02 pm

So far, my squash are ok., but I have noticed this problem with some of my cukes. Should I try hand pollination?

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shriveled squash

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/17/2011, 10:09 pm

Here in St. Helens, Or, I'm seeing very, very few honeybees, and worry about pollination. Watching the activity on the chive flowers in a large pot on the deck, I saw several bumble bees, two mason bees, and only one honey bee. The squash/pumpkins/cucumbers have yet have flowers open, but tomatoes have set fruit, probably due to our diligence in aggitating the flower stems each time we pass one of the plants. Thinking of getting out a paint brush and becoming a stand-in bee for adequate pollination.....unless more than one honey bee shows up. What's killing off all the bees?

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