I have on numerous occasions throughout the years, planted zucchini squash
and always had an over abundance of produce.
This year I decided to try them again after about a 4 year hiatus. I was
surprised when reading the various newsgroup posts that some gardeners had
problems getting produce on their plants attributing it to the plants having
female blossoms only.
Lo and behold I have been hit with the Edible Newsgroup Zucchini Hex also
this year for the very first time. The blossoms were all on an extended stem
and as the various newsgroup posts eluded are all female. I chopped the
plants to the ground this morning and will try again next year and make a
trip to the farmer's market for zucchini. The plants were very healthy and
about 4 feet tall and about 6 feet wide and I had pulled the plants except
for three of the healthiest about a month ago and all were in one hill.
The seed packet was an International Culinary Collection and the type was
Italian Zucchino Cocozelle which was all that was available when I bought
them and normally I buy Northrop King seeds. The seeds that are left over in
the packet will go into the XXXX CAN!
I've grown a number of different varities but as of this year have
settled on one particular one that has given me the biggest and best
fruit I've ever grown as well as the healthiest plants.
Ferry Morse is the seed Co and Black Beauty is the variety.
Anyway, I've got the same problem. The female flowers do produce fruit,
but it turns yellow and dies from lack of pollination when it's only an
inch or so long.
This morning I found a male flower and about 4 female flowers open. Out
came the Q-tips and I did a little artificial insemination.
But I noticed what may be the root of the problem. Down inside every
female flower, around the base, were several ants. That sound familiar
I'm not the least bit sorry that I decided to chop the plants to the ground
after having only blossoms for a few weeks without any sign of produce;
whatever sex they were. In my opinion, it is bad enough that the male robin
has to wait for several weeks for the female to fly in and the Lord alone
knows about the humans' dilemma, so the squash plants don't have to start
following suit also!
I have always had zucchini any time I planted it enough to vow never to grow
it again except for this year and this variety. Previously I planted black
zucchini however the only seeds available this year at the store when I made
my purchase was this worthless Italian kind.
I'd interpret it as describing the male flowers. But no matter.
The most popular zucchini grown here in Australia is the Blackjack. The
beauty of growing zucchinis is that they don't need pollination. We pick
the fruit on the day that the female flower opens or the day after. At
this stage the fruit is about 4 inches long and we usually have to break
the opened flower off the end of it. Apparently your variety of zucchini
is very different if the fruit is not like this.
You can break the male flower off, tear away the petals to leave just the
central pollen stalk, and rub that over the swelling inside all the female
flowers in turn. It works perfectly. Once pollinated, you can leave the
fruit to attain giant size like a mature marrow. But the plant won't bear
as many fruit if you allow them to grow large, and the largeer fruit are
lacking in flavour.
Very familiar. Not a problem at all. The ants are just sipping the
nectar bounty. The bees go for the excess of pollen in these flowers.
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)
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