Summer squash problems

luvkukuApril 20, 2011

I have a yellow crookneck plant and a spaghetti squash plant. Both grow normally, and set fruit, but the fruits shrivel up and die when 1-2 inches long. Why is this happening?

Raised bed, strawberries and herbs around plants, one is trellised and the other not.

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agility_mom(z9 AZ)

Squash have male and female flowers. The female flowers have little squash connected to the flowers. The thing with squash is that often times, the female flowers bloom first before any male flowers have bloomed and so the female flowers do not get pollinated. They just shrivel up and die. Just wait and pretty soon, you'll have both types of flowers and you'll get lots of squash, maybe too much :)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:22AM
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Good to know. I always wondered what was happening with my squash.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:59AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I just love the way people know things around here. I never knew that and always wondered why it works the way it does. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:07AM
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Thanks so much for the info. I am glad I asked rather than yank them out. I tend to overreact, and never would have figured it out on my own. After all , those little squashes look perfect, just like all they need to do is grow.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:15AM
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agility_mom(z9 AZ)

When I first started planting squash, I thought the same thing as you.
Here's a site that has a picture of the blooms as well as some recipes for squash blossoms. They are considered a delicacy.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 2:35PM
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What everyone said above is true and good advice. However if you still have the same problem later do to lack of pollinators you can pollinate them yourself. The video in the link says its for Winter Squash but it's the same for summer squash and pumpkins and melons as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening How-To: Pollinating Winter Squash

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 4:36PM
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mister_gin(z9 AZ)

I'll usually pollinate some myself if I'm not getting very many male flowers. It's a good thing you have more than one plant. I really only have room for one but I try to plant or move a seedling elsewhere. This way I'm guaranteed something. With only one plant, I'm always getting all males or all females. When I do finally get both the summer heat does the plant in.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:17AM
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