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Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

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Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  NHGardener on 7/15/2011, 3:42 pm

I have one zucchini plant that is amazingly huge and deep green. The squash plants are coming right along, and one laggard zucchini plant. I have had a lot of blossoms and took maybe 3 small squashes and 3 small zucchinis off the plant and they were tasty. But since then - nothing. I'm thinking the blossoms might be falling off without producing anything. What makes squash slow down like this? I've even had a toss a couple tiny malformed squashes/zucchinis. The plants themselves don't look diseased, the leaves aren't eaten.

2 things - one is that the weather was ultra hot last week in the 90s, and the other is that I MIGHT be overwatering them, with the landscape fabric I finagled in that bed, maybe the drainage isn't quite so good there.

Any thoughts on why this is? I expected to be covered over in them by now.
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  camprn on 7/15/2011, 4:23 pm

It sounds like you need to take matters into your own hands and pollinate the blossoms. Do you know how to do this? there are multiple threads about pollination, but basically take a small paint brush, run it around in a male flower to pick up pollen, then run it around a female flower to deposit the pollen. You should have squash again shortly. You do have blooms right? Very Happy
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  littlejo on 7/15/2011, 4:29 pm

Well, it could be overwatering. No more than 1 time per day at most. I'd skip a day and see if that helps.
Also, if the blooms (male and female) are opening, then they are not being pollinated. You can try to do this and see if it helps.
Do you see bees around?
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  camprn on 7/15/2011, 6:05 pm

Mine just started too, no worries, as long as we can keep the SVB, squash beetles, striped cucumber beetles and powdery mildew away we should be awash in squash soon! Very Happy
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  NHGardener on 7/15/2011, 6:28 pm

Wow - what's with the pollination? I don't remember ever running across that before.

Yes, my blooms are opening. So they're not getting pollinated if they're opening then?

Okay. So please tell me how to tell a male from a female. rofl

Artificial insemination, here we come. Paintbrush ready. I don't want to paint 2 males together, they might not like that. HAHA.

I'm all ears.
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lots of cukes, one zuke...

Post  Square Jo on 7/15/2011, 6:46 pm

I have a ton of cukes and have had only one zuke so far, although I did spy another one today in the early stages, I may try the paint brush thing… I planted a small watermelon and it has blossoms, but I don't see any fruit… if the cukes are producing everything should be getting pollinated right? This is my first square foot experience.

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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  NHGardener on 7/15/2011, 7:29 pm

Along with your questions Square Jo, my cukes have open blossoms too - does that mean they're not getting pollinated either?

Altho no blossoms are open tonight - I assume they close up at night. I never really noticed before.
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  camprn on 7/15/2011, 8:49 pm

Here ya go! http://forums.organicgardening.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2241078301/m/6311004901 <~~~CLICK



http://www.liseed.org/sqpollination.jpg
male on the left, female on right, petals removed.
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  littlejo on 7/15/2011, 9:05 pm

Vegetables, well, sometimes they have different insects that pollinate each kind/family of veggies.My cukes and Toms had a bumble bee do them. My zukes had a small bee, might have been a reg. honey bee. Some plants are what's called self pollinating-just shake them or maybe the wind will work.

The male blossom is just on a stem, no fruit.
The female will have the fruit behind it.
If pollination does not take place, this tiny fruit will shrink and fall off.

If I tell it wrong, someone step in and correct me!

Just use the paintbrush and run it around in the male flower, it should catch the pollen.
If there is a female open, gently, brush the brush in the female flower, ta da!
If no female is open, you can put a ziploc bag over the pollinated brush until a female flower is open.

On newly blooming plants, all the blooms that open first may be all males, female blooms will come on later.

We are having to do artificial pollinating, for the honeybees have been dying, and the overuse of insecticides is killing others off.

I hope this helps. X fingers, I've never had to do this. Jo
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  littlejo on 7/15/2011, 9:10 pm

[quote="camprn"]Here ya go!
The pictures help a lot! I have a question. Does the female flower have to be open when you trim the flower to get inside? because, I've never seen the female flower open on my zukes. Jo
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  NHGardener on 7/15/2011, 9:33 pm

Wow. I didn't realize I'd be performing surgery on my squashes. Very Happy I think maybe I should give them a little privacy, hold up a screen or something...

Seriously tho, it bothers me that maybe there aren't enough bees around here to do the pollinating. Maybe the squashes bloomed during a rain when the bees couldn't get to them - I'm hoping that's all it was. The bees have seemed to pollinate my raspberries and blackberries tho.

Okay - tomorrow is the Big Day - we're gonna get some squash babies going here.

Thank you for the help!!
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  Aub on 7/15/2011, 11:14 pm

My squash and zukes will do good for a while and then all of a sudden... BAM! I've got mushy, shriveling veggies.
My hubby thinks they might be getting too much water. I turn the sprinkler on when I go to work at 9 and he doesn't turn it off until 11 or so. I'm going to get a timer so I don't have that problem any more.
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  Furbalsmom on 7/16/2011, 8:42 pm

Don't forget to pollinate your blossoms in the morning. Blossoms will close in the early afternnon and stay closed at night.

I never removed the leaves on my blossoms, just used a q-tip to move pollen from a male to a female.
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Re: Why did my squashes/zucchini stop producing?

Post  NHGardener on 7/16/2011, 11:13 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Don't forget to pollinate your blossoms in the morning. Blossoms will close in the early afternnon and stay closed at night.

I figured that out today when I went out at 3 p.m. to help them pollinate. All the blossoms were closed. I was scratching my head but figured they must only be open in the morning.
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