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problem with zucchini

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problem with zucchini

Post  Aub on 7/3/2011, 10:30 pm

My zucchini don't seem to be doing much. They are flowering like crazy but it's only male flowers. The female flowers haven't opened but they have fruits behind them that are almost an inch long. Some of the fruits are shriveling up and falling off.
Am I just paying too much attention to it and they'll flower when they want or is something else wrong?
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/3/2011, 10:33 pm

My guess is this is out of your control. It's likely a pollinator thing. It may or may not take care of itself, but I imagine there's nothing you can do. Someone will correct me if I'm off base.
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  camprn on 7/3/2011, 10:56 pm

Very often with squash the plant puts out many male flowers before female flowers emerge. This is normal. Are you seeing bees in your garden? If you can go out to the garden in the mornings and hand pollinate you may have more success. What has your weather been like? Can you post a photo?
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  littlejo on 7/3/2011, 11:06 pm

Hi Aub

Haven't you'all been having storms and lots of rain?

It could be that it's not hot or dry enough. Zucchini require lots of heat and sun for the flowers to open (and be polinated by nature or you) Give it another week.
Jo
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  Aub on 7/3/2011, 11:06 pm

I don't have a picture right now, but I'll take one in the morning. It has been hot, then cold, and now it's hot again. Maybe I'll get up really early and go see what's going on. If the lady flowers are open I'll hand pollinate.
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  Miss Mousie on 7/3/2011, 11:16 pm

I'm not an expert at growing zucchini, in fact this is my first summer garden. My two zucchini plants loved the downpour of rain we got the other day and the hot days that followed. They seemed to have doubled in size. I've found that some of the zucchini's toward the bottom of the plant are turning yellow and falling off the vine. I'm thinking that they weren't pollinated because maybe they are so near the ground and covered by leaves and stems. The zukes toward the middle and top are maturing into 6 to 8 inch zucchinis. I've also taken a small craft paint brush and done some artificial insemination to insure my success. "I'm not a doctor, I just play one on TV.....er....the garden". flower So far we've eaten two, but I have 5 more zukes in the fridge. I'm looking forward to making zucchini bread. They sure are tasty.

Good luck to you!
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  petals1973 on 7/3/2011, 11:35 pm

Aub wrote:My zucchini don't seem to be doing much. They are flowering like crazy but it's only male flowers. The female flowers haven't opened but they have fruits behind them that are almost an inch long. Some of the fruits are shriveling up and falling off.
Am I just paying too much attention to it and they'll flower when they want or is something else wrong?

Aub,

I have the same exact problem with my zucchini, squash & some of my ornamental gourds. I called the extension office in my area and I basically stumped the master gardener! He kept trying to tell me it was a pollination problem but none of the fruit that shriveled up ever bloomed so it never had the opportunity to get pollinated. He then suggested to add superphosphate. I figured it would not hurt, so I added some and now I have some squash setting fruit. Nothing yet on zukes but hopefully it will do the trick soon.

Margarita
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  yosoypanadero on 7/3/2011, 11:53 pm

How do you go about pollinating anything by hand? I have a lot of zucchini and thank goodness it is doing well but I would like to know for future reference. Thanks!
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  petals1973 on 7/4/2011, 12:05 am

yosoypanadero wrote:How do you go about pollinating anything by hand? I have a lot of zucchini and thank goodness it is doing well but I would like to know for future reference. Thanks!

this has some good pics. If you don't want to remove the male flower you can use a paintbrush or q-tip to transfer the pollen. I don't tape.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/gourds/msg0611545713356.html
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  Aub on 7/4/2011, 12:43 am

Thanks Petals! I hope I have some flowers open in the morning so I can give it a try.
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  Aub on 7/4/2011, 11:57 am

Here is the photo I snapped this morning. Still nothing opening. You can see the one fruit in the center on the right, it's just starting to shrivel up. I think there's one behind it so hopefully it will open up so I can hand pollinate.
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  jazzymaddy on 7/4/2011, 12:10 pm

I'm right with you, Aub. In fact, I've been meaning to post the very same question. I have many shy little girly flowers that I WOULD help pollinate, were they to only ever open up. I, too, have lost a number of zukes due to the non-opening of the blossoms. And I religiously check them almost every morning. We've had hot hot humid weather, which makes checking my garden a true labor of love. ANy other suggestions, y'all?
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  camprn on 7/4/2011, 12:22 pm

I have been known to put a small slice in nearly mature female blossoms and hand pollinate the pistil.
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  busygirl on 7/4/2011, 4:32 pm

camprn wrote:I have been known to put a small slice in nearly mature female blossoms and hand pollinate the pistil.

+1
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Re: problem with zucchini

Post  HouseofWool on 7/4/2011, 9:42 pm

My butternut squash is taking over the garden, but in all of my searching, I found one lone female blossom. One. She will have nearly 30 suitors at this point and I will be really peeved if I only get one freakin' squash from the riot of vines that we have.

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