I live in the high desert where summer temperatures routinely head
into the 3 digits for days on end. I grow zucchini every year. I have
never had a problem with blossom end rot on zucchini, and I don't have
a drop in productivity during the heat waves. Corn and tomatoes don't
pollinate in the high temps...but zucchini, melons, cucumbers, peppers
are all fine.
Bees seem to be getting a poor rap here, and all of it undeserved. Allow
me to put in a word in their defence.
On hot summer days, flowering native trees hum loudly with the sound of
beating bees wings. The bees are working even harder in the hot weather!
If the number of bees you see in your garden falls off during heatwave
conditions, it's because those bees are needed back at the hive to fan
the brood (undeveloped bee lavae) in the comb and regulate the
temperature of the hive. Bees don't slack off in heatwave conditions,
they actually work harder than ever!
On the topic of zucchinis, as I have written here many times: the
beauty of growing zucchinis is that you DON'T NEED BEES because
zucchinis don't need pollination. Provided you harvest the fruit
within a day or two of its flower having opened, it doesn't matter
whether it has been visited by a bee or not.
Only if you want to grow a fruit to maturity do you need bees. But
allowing a zucchini to grow large means it loses its flavour, that's
why they need to be harvested while young and tender. In addition, not
allowing any of the fruit to grow for more than a few days keeps the
plant flowering vigorously and producing even more fruit, thus
improving the yield.
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
I also found this, in the Net, which tends to give me the clue I was
looking for.. I suspect I'm right.
Q: I had a gardener ask me why the blossoms would suddenly fall off his
tomato plants. Can you explain that one? Also, why would cucumbers
suddenly quit blooming? (Mandan, N.D.)
A: One answer to both questions, high temperatures and a lack of
adequate moisture. While both like warm temperatures, the hot weather
we've been having and the lack of consistent rainfall will cause both
blossom abortion and non blooming. Even our zucchini plants are way down
on production this year and that's saying something!
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