Answer: Summer squash (both zucchini and crookneck) usually grow at least 15 leaves before setting flowers. Often the first flowers are male, and will not produce fruit. You can tell whether a flower is male or female observing the stem attached to the flower; a female flower will have a small swelling at the base of the flower. The swelling will turn into a full-on fruit. If there is no swelling, and only a prickly stem is present, this is a male flower.
Be sure to harvest your squash when they are small (about 6 inches). They will be tender and tasty with smaller seeds. Enjoy!
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