The Q&A Archives: Squash Culture Tips

Question: My squash has lots of blooms but does not produce vegetables.

Answer: Squash plants produce both male and female blossoms. The male blooms have a straight stem and the female have a swelling on the stem just behind the petals. Only the female flowers have the ability to produce fruits, and that only happens if the flowers are pollinated. This usually happens when insects visit both male and female flowers, transferring pollen as they go. If there's no insect activity around your plants, perhaps due to the use of pesticides, the flowers won't become pollinated and won't produce fruit. Insufficient sunlight is another reason for failure to fruit. Squash needs to be in the sunniest site available and while they may produce flowers under less than ideal conditions, they won't produce fruit.

You might try hand pollinating by visiting each flower with a small brush so you can transfer pollen from the males to the females, or you can remove a male blossom and touch the insides of the female flowers with the insides of the male flowers. Hope one of these techniques helps your plants develop fruit!

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