A while back I was trying to identify whether I had cucumbers or
melons. Looking at the growing plant now, I'm thinking it must be
squash, it's not vining and the leaves are getting big. (shared seeds
I grew zuchini last year and had a lot of flowers but little in the
way of the vegetable itself. I think this was a pollination problem as I
don't have many bees here. What to do? I had no intention of trying
(1) male squash flowers are at the end of a long stem.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
Pollinate'm by hand. Easy enough to do. Very early in the day, pick
a "false" blossom and introduce its staminate parts well and thoroughly
to the pistillate parts of the target. The flowers can come from the
same plant. If you're successful, the fertilized flower will begin to
wilt fairly soon. In the afterglow, some people remove the pollinated
flower's petalst as a defense against creatures which lay eggs in
nascent pepoes through the blossom. Dunno whether that ploy works; I
just shoot for getting curcurbits in ahead of those things and of those
FWIW: As well as with squashes, etc. a few minutes' similar
attention can greatly increase eggplant (aubergine) yield. At first,
it's a little more difficult than with squash to reliably distinguish
between eggplant blossom "gender" but it soon becomes instinctual.
By-hand eggplant pollination "seems" to work best for me if the flowers
are on different plants.
Anyway, I vote that you establish a closer relationship with your
USDA zone 9b, peninsular FL, U.S.A.
Squash is a whole lot easier to hand-pollinate than cucumbers or
melons would be! Male squash flowers are big enough to use by
themselves to do the pollinating.
Either use the male blossoms (stripped of their petals) directly, or
use a Q-tip to transfer pollen to the female blossoms. Best done
in the morning.
Were they summer or winter squash you had problems with?
Winter squash are likely to only set a few fruits per plant.
Either type will throw fewer female and more male flowers when
growing in less than ideal situations, as pollen is less costly to
produce than fruit.
Pat in Plymouth MI
"Vegetables are like bombs packed tight with all kinds of important
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