I hope someone will indulge me as I try to sort out my "fizzling zuchs".
Is the number of cucurbits planted important to pollination? As I
understand it, cucurbits have male and female flowers. Their pollen is
sticky, so wind borne pollination isn't going to happen. Pollination
only takes place through the agency of bees. Right? Whether you have one
plant or a hundred. Right? Or, is there some other player in the game
that I'm not aware of yet? I just don't want to plant three zuchs if
it's not necessary (and perhaps change the Earth's center of gravity and
destroy civilization as I've come to enjoy it). I mean, logic is only as
good as it's premise. Right?
Thanks for the seminal information about the zuch flowers. Now, most
mornings, you can find me out in my garden playing match maker with the
open flowers of my squash plants.
So, can anyone tell me off the top of their heads if the lack of bees
(and there does seem to be a dearth of them) is going to be a similar
problem for my cucumbers, pumpkins, and butternuts? Am I going to have
to open a fertility clinic for cucurbits?
All Cucurbits are insect pollinated. Does not have be honeybees, but
some type of pollinating insect. Squash bees, Bumblebees, carpenter
bees and sevral other types can do the job. The more plants that you
have in this family, the better the chances of attracting pollinators.
All the squash will pollinate each other so the zukes, yellow
crooknecks, pumpkins and butternuts will support each other.
Sure. If there aren't many bees you need to do the pollen swaps
yourself otherwise all you'll end up growing will be vine. It is very
fiddley work with the small cucumber flowers, but not much of a problem
with the handful of flowers that grow on the bigger pumpkins.
Remember, provided you pick the zucchinis within a day or so of their
flower opening, zucchinis don't need pollination. In fact, if you have
a real proliferation of zucchinis you can even pick them *before* the
flower opens, when the fruit is really tiny. The tastiest zucchinis are
the dark green speckled ones, called Blackjack here though that might
not be PC. The flowers are edible, too.
With your name, we'd expect you to be a dab hand working with flowers.
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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