More than one squash at a time?

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Does a squash plant support more than one squash at a time? For example, it seems that while a big zucchini is growing, several incipient ones grow poorly or even rot. If I remove the big zucchini, another one starts to grow.
Bill
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yes, the plant can support more than one. if you pick often, more will be produced..... make sure to feed the plants... use a fertilizer w/a high middle number... pick off any bad pieces so the plant isn't putting any energy into it.... same with that big zucchini... big zukes are worthless anyways...

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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net said:

It depends on the variety of squash. Some won't mature more than one or two squash to maturity (and abort the rest) and others will set more.
As a general rule, the larger the mature squash, the smaller the number the vine will set. And as fully grown zucchini are rather large, having one or two maturing on the plant very likely *would* inhibit setting any more fruit.
Johnny's Selected Seeds gives average yield per plant for winter squash and pumpkin varieties in their catalog. (A commendable practice.) Yields range from 8-10 squash per plant for a 'Sweet Dumpling' squash (4" diameter) to 1-2 per plant for a Hubbard squash (12-15 pounds).
Summer squash are normally picked immature, so the plant keeps producing more squash. But let one of those zucchinis escape and the plant's happy, and puts its energy into maturing that one squash rather than growing more.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Yes. That is why everyone around here has to lock their cars from the end of July through the first of November. This is my cousins first year of growing them and she planted a whole row. She is putting them in the trash now, since everyone is locking their cars.
Dwayne

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I have that rotting problem, too. Sigh. Sue

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Live on Long Island and planted on June 10th and some a week later.
Me too, same problem. The other day I saw 4 or 5 zuchinni on one plant and today none of them looked good. They were really small, maybe about 4 inches. I went out there the other day and thought some kind of horrible worm was on the tip of one of then and even took a picture to try to get online somehow but that turned out to be the rotted flower. Then I thought it might be the chipmunks, so today I put down crushed red pepper again. If they are rotting because there are too many of them, then maybe the chipmunks are staying away because of the first red pepper I put down.
I saw some blossom end rot on two of the green beefsteaks, so I'm holding off on watering as much as I was. Actually, the sprinkler guy was here to raise the sprinklers and he switched me from every other day to every day for 15 minutes. Could that be why the zukes aren't doing so well?

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On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 14:13:27 -0400, alan[remove] snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

I'd asked about this rot business here awhile back. Mine get about an inch or two, turn yellow and rot. Lots of suggestions. One was that they may not be getting enough water so I'm trying to increase it. My problem is disorganization - I just don't have a schedule. I did but my backyard auto sprinkler system died to it's up to me. Another couple of things I've noticed with the zucchini that are actually maturing (and I ought to start another thread about this, I suppose) is that they are quite pale and some are bulbous looking - almost like gourds. I've never had either of these problems. I'm assuming that I've planted the same type as usual - cheapies from Wal*Mart. Sue San Joaquin Valley, CA

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Sue, something has to be wrong someplace although mine are not pale or bulbous loking...actually some do turn a little pale before they go.
Yesterday I decided to cut all the leaves off because the leaves are huge and maybe drawing all the sun, water and nutrients. What the hell, I've only had one zuchinni all summer, so what do I have to lose? I also took some soil and mulch and put it ontop of the base of the plant which appears to be not that imbedded. The leaves leaves and chutes seem to be groing away from the root ball and there are lots of straw looking things, maybe dea shoots coming out of the ground.

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On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 11:41:21 -0400, alan[remove] snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

Pretty much what I'm going to do to my tomatoes tomorrow. No canning this year, darn it. Not enough fruit for the second year in a row. I'm going to try the hand pollinating of the zucchini, too Darn good thing my life doesn't depend on my garden - only my self-esteem. :o( Sue

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That is what happens when they have not been pollinated. The flowers are big enough that you can do it by hand: on a morning that both male and female flowers are open, break off the male flower, tear away the petals and rub the male flower onto the centre (stigma) inside each of the open female flowers. Do this while the plant is still wet with dew.

It is easy to tell when they are not getting enough water: the leaves droop alarmingly in the midday heat!

Sprinklers? Sprinklers are a recipe for mildew on curcubits. Try not to wet the leaves when you water them. A dripper system is necessary for this. You can build up a wall around the centre of the plant so that water from the hose is contained and soaks in, or half bury a tin can open at both ends and direct water into this so that it soaks into the soil. Just take care to now wet any leaves.

They should be okay. BUT ... if any zucchini develops with the free end noticeably thinner than the stem end then it will be bitter tasting and you may as well break it off and discard it before it wastes energy from the plant.

IME zucchinis grow much better when you plant the seed directly, rather than transplanted from seedlings.

Zucchinis are melt-in-your-mouth tasty if you pick them one or two DAYS after their open-flower stage (yes, break off the flower!), rather than leaving them to grow for WEEKS. Pick them small and the plant will produce dozens more; leave any to grow large and you will have far fewer and they are not anywhere near as tasty.
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)


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On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 23:01:05 GMT, John Savage

I've used a paint brush as was suggested by someone else.

Some book I read said they need about 4 gallons a week.

Curcubits??? As far as I can tell I don't have mildew.

I've just been using a slow running hose now. Maybe drip next year.

Hmmm. I didn't know that. Not had that problem. Last year the blossom ends weren't closing.

Were I planting lots of them I might do this. However, my limit (space wise) is four or five.

Break off the flower when it doesn't open anymore? I didn't know that either. My ignorance is obviously huge. How can you keep track of which ones are ready to have the flowers picked off?

How small would you say?

Sometimes they hide and get away from me. :o( Sue
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That depends on how fast the soil drains, day temperatures, whether it's windy, etc. A hot wind really dries out the plant. Poke your finger into the soil, if it's damp then the plant doesn't need watering that day.

Most gardeners find that it's a progressive takeover by mildew that ends the life of zucchini plants. The leaves turn white with mildew, but the plant valiantly struggles on, bearing new flowers right to the last.

A slow hose is fine. I pictured a sprinkler dowsing the whole plant.

Let's back up a bit. The zucchini fruit can be picked and cooked the day its flower opens or any days later. If you pick them at the just-flowered stage it really doesn't matter whether that particular flower has been pollinated or not: by the time the plant realizes that that flower has not been pollinated and prepares to abort that tiny fruit it discovers IT IS TOO LATE---you've already picked and eaten the youngster! It is only if you want the fruit to develop to a bigger size that you'll need to pollinate it. In this regard the zucchini stands out from all others in the curcubit family--you can harvest a good crop from your plants even if you don't have bees and don't hand pollinate--provided you pick the tiny zucchinis just after the flower has finished. The flower opens in the early morning and lasts just one day, by the next day that flower is limp and starting to wither. That's the best stage to harvest it, and after a few minutes steaming add a dash of butter and a sprinkling of pepper! Did you know the open flower is edible, too? I've seen mention of cooking it in batter, but we'd just throw the flower over the fence for our pet sheep. Shake any bees out first.

The day after the flower has fully opened. At this stage they are about the length of your index finger. Maybe leave it for one more day, try it and see.

Yes, they are well camouflaged for concealment among the foliage. Pick any big ones immediately you spy them, to encourage the plant to go on producing more flowers. Best to note where the flowers are each day and search that spot the following day. The yellow flowers themselves are definitely not camouflaged!
The plants grow quickly and start bearing early in their life, so they don't need anywhere near the long growing season of pumpkins, etc., where you have to let the fruit reach maturity. You can probably stagger some plantings throughout summer.
I'm in Australia.
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)


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On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 23:01:05 GMT, John Savage

Oh, thanks a lot for the advice. Sue
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On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 23:01:05 GMT, John Savage

in a much warmer place that I am? If you are planting seeds, when do you have to start them? It may be too cold here for that.
Did you enter your location on the map at http://myguestmap.lorca.eti.br/guestmap.jsp?id=alancalan&locale=en ?

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Are you carrying out the pollination yourself? If the flower is not properly pollinated the tiny fruit seems to rot or just grow stunted before it falls. Use a small brush and perform the pollination yourself.
It could be that bees have better things to do with their time than gather pollen from your plants, or the weather might be inclement so they choose to stay home and just put their feet up.
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)


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On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 22:26:20 GMT, John Savage

One day I went out to do this (hand pollination) and had to battle the bees to get to the flowers. I decided it didn't need doing *that* day. I'll try it again tomorrow. I'm also going to take a deep breath and hack away at my huge tomato bushes. Hardly any tomatoes but lots of bush. I need to rethink the whole garden thing next year. I have so little space that I crowd too much (tomatoes and bells), I don't do enough prep work and I shoulda found this NG before I planted in the spring.

<G> Sounds like a good idea to me. I am sooo glad it's the weekend.We had about 20 days of over 100 degrees. I don't know much about bees - is that too hot for them to be active? Sue
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Sue said:

No, but your weather was too hot for your tomatoes to be setting fruit. (Which you commented on earlier in this thread.) I had a short lull in ripening fruit on my tomato plants which is probably connected to a stretch of very hot weather earlier this summer.
Squash will abort fruit (sometimes without the flower even opening) when they are stressed (by fruit load, pests, or environmental circumstances).
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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On Sat, 27 Aug 2005 06:16:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

I understand that from an earlier thread. I have one tomato plant that hasn't gotten outrageously big like the others and it's had more tomatoes than the others despite the heat. I don't know why this one particular one didn't branch out all over the place as the others did.

I did some hand pollinating this morning with a paint brush and noticed that some of the blossoms (the females) had lots of ants in them. Would those be in the pest category? I'm awfully discouraged with this gardening business. Sue
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Sue said:

Ants? Not usually a pest on squash. (Ants do sometimes become pest when they nibble soft fruits like raspberries in my garden.) Cucumber beetles, squash vine borers, and squash bugs are more the pests I had in mind. Aphids can be a problem because they can carry mosaic virus. (Unfortunately, this has been a bad year for virus in Michigan.)

There's always next year...though every year it's always something.
Last year I lost virtually my whole pepper crop (to maggots), but the corn was great. This year I've got ahead of the pepper maggots and the corn is awful (one planting every ear but one was smutty).
If you haven't done so already, get a soil test. Find out if you have an obvious shortage in something. (My first test showed that the soil was low in potassium and high in phosphorous, so the typical 'balanced' fertilizers weren't really appropriate.)
Work in some compost this fall. Maybe plant some garlic. Read some gardening books. (_Square Foot Gardening_ is good for beginners, though I think Mel Bartholomew is a bit optimistic on his spacings.)
Take credit for your successes and for anything else blame the weather! Too much rain, not enough rain, rain at the wrong time, too hot, not hot enough--there's always some reason to fault it!
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 05:35:54 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote:

Yep. My gentleman friend's hobby is shooting trap. He only has to wait a week whenever he doesn't do well.

I mentioned in some post a couple of weeks ago that the only year I grew corn it was overwhelmed with ants. I never tried again because I had no idea how to prevent them.

I've never done that and know that I should. Where does one get a test kit. I've never seen one but never really looked either. We have no nursery here which is why my gardening supplies come from Wal*Mart.

You answered my question before I asked. I was wondering what a good gardening book might be. I have Sunset and some other, but they don't really go into problems or details. Too general.

<G> Good plan. Thanks for your help.Sue
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