winter squash not maturing

I've planted a winter squash this year called Lakota. The vines are
very productive and healthy looking, but every fruit turns yellow and
withers shortly after the blossom withers. Help! Is this a nutrient
problem? Everything else in the garden is healthy. There are plenty of
insects visiting the blossoms (and plenty of simultaneous male
blossoms) so I don't think it's a pollination problem. At this point I
wonder if I'll have any mature squashes.
Our summer so far (N MD) has been fairly wet, with about average
warmth. Any tips appreciated!
Orin Hargraves
Reply to
Orin Hargraves
I would bet that it is a pollination problem in spite of evidence to the contrary. Go out in the morning on a day when rain hasn't washed away the pollen. Pluck a male flower, remove the petals, and use the resulting "paint brush" to pollinate a couple of fresh female flowers. If those flowers produce a squash, you'll know the bees haven't been doing their job. If I'm right about the pollination, the problem will probably solve itself after the weather gets a little warmer and dryer. Good luck.
Steve
Reply to
Steve
I agree with Steve. I have grown Lakota and its usually a pretty trouble free squash. There are two reasons for the young squash to be aborted. One is lack of pollination. Check to make sure that honeybees, bumble bees, carpenter bees , or native squash bees are working. The other is stress on the plant. If you have bees and the plants are healthy then the squash should set as soon as the weather conditions are right for the plant. If you don't have bees or there is an abundance of other preferable flowers than hand pollination is the last resort.
Reply to
FarmerDill
Thank you both for responding. I hand-pollinated a few females (squeamishly, as I felt I was forcing sex on them), and by coincidence, honeybees have now appeared in abundance, and fruits are maturing. So you're both right. Whatever insects were visiting before were just not doing the job I guess. Thanks again.
Orin
Reply to
Orin Hargraves
Thank YOU for returning to bring this to a conclusion.
Steve
PS Rest easy. As far as I know, there has never been a conviction for molesting squash blossoms. :-)
Reply to
Steve

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