The Q&A Archives: squash

Question: I planted zuchinni this year for the first time and the plants are beautiful with large flowers. The flowers stay for about a week and then gradually die and fall off leaving a blunt stem but I have not gotten a squash yet. Is this noraml or what did I do wrong?

Answer: Lenore,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

Squash produces both male and female blooms. The way to tell male and female flowers apart is the female flowers have a small squash fruit at the base of the flower while male blooms only have the thin stem that attaches them to the vine.

If you have both male and female blooms, but no fruit the problem is a lack of pollination. Bees do the majority of this work and when they are not present for whatever reason the squash does not set fruit. Pesticides often are the reason for lack of bees, as many insect control products are very toxic to bees. I bees are not present, you can take on their job by transferring the pollen yourself. Go out in the mornings and carefully dust male the then female blooms with an artist's paintbrush.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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