Use Q-Tips To Pollinate Summer Squash: Hand pollination in squashes

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Use Q-Tips To Pollinate Summer Squash

By Newyorkrita
August 2, 2015

A lack of bees in the early spring means that your summer squash might not develop. Help them out by pollinating those flowers yourself.

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Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
Sep 24, 2015 4:03 AM CST
Hello newyorkrita. here in our farm we are faced with the lack of natural pollination in squashes when the temperatures are still very cool/cold outside our greenhouses where we grow cucurbits. We have found that we can simply cut the male flower full of pollen, trim the petals so that the anther is fully revealed. Then it can be rubbed directly onto the stigma of the female flower. One anther carries enough pollen for various female flowers. We have also found that it is unnecessary to only use same variety or species, because what one is aiming at fruit formation rather than seed formation, Then if pollination produces viable seed or not becomes irrelevant since for most cases, the fruit will be harvested long before seeds mature. Once pollinated, we also cut the petals of the female flower as a reminder of on that the flower has been pollinated. We hand pollinate early in the morning when pollen is fresh. Later in the season, bumblebees that fly into our greenhouses do the job.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Sep 24, 2015 9:16 AM CST
That sounds like you have it well planned ! Big Grin nodding
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
Sep 26, 2015 7:54 AM CST
Hi Rita, than you for your thumbs up!.We first started as a self-reliant gardener in a small piece of land. A small farm slightly larger than 6 acres, but big enough to bewilder anyone trying to cultivate beyond what one can manage individually. Also because of its location near a fairly sized town ( now close to 140,000 inh.), but with all city services ( electricity, natural gas, Internet, phone, garbage collector), the plot became potentially very appropriate for retail vegetable gardening (which is developing) or nursery gardening ( which I'm planning to add). When one tries to upscale from personal gardening to one step ahead,i.e say provision of fresh organic vegetables for say 100 families Thank You! , it implies organizing the shared workload with others.Searching for efficiency ( planning, organizing schedules and procedures etc)becomes crucial, however commited one may be in keeping things small, and thus under control. When I was a visiting graduate student 4 decades ago in SUNY Stony Brook, NYS, I picked some charcteristics of the American way of doing things: being very practical and sharing it with others while stimulating to find ways that could improve performance. Now its my time to share back with what we discovered in a life time search of how to go back to the land., without loosing the advantages of a more developed urban life. Thanks to technology and Internet this is now possible for millions anywhere in the planet. Yesterday, I watched with some nostalgia while the Pope Francis passed along familiar N.Y. city streets and places, with whom I share so many values and origins. I still belong to that group of people that believe that we can individually contribute for a better world, badly in need of dialogue. Thank You!

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