Can winter squash pollinate summer squash?

tcstoehrJune 25, 2008

My two Zukes are sorely lacking in male flowers, but have plenty of female flowers, but they often have no male flower available. I have several Butternut and Hubbard squashes that should soon begin flowering. Can I grab male flowers off of those and hand-pollinate the Zukes?

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macmex

No, unfortunately (in your case). The Butternut and Hubbards are from two different species than the zucchini.

Your zucchinis will start making male flowers soon. In the mean time, I'd recommend that you pick those little squash and eat them so they don't go to waste.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 5:03PM
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tcstoehr

Thanks, I suspected as much, but I had read about somebody's dubious acorn squash / zucchini hybrid and it got me wondering. I've actually been getting a good number of zukes off my two plants, but a good number of failures too. Now when I see a male flower open up, I cut him off and apply him to any available female flowers. I'll even cut the female flowers open if they're almost ready.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 5:18PM
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farmerdilla

George is right on the money. Zucchini is C.pepo, which does not cross normally with C. moschata (butternut) or C. maxima (Hubbard). However there are lots of winter squash in the C. pepo group Acorns, Delicatas, Halloween pumpkins etc. If you are getting zukes, it may be that your plants are selecting only those which it can support at the time. Sometimes I think plants are smarter than people. I grow a lot of zukes but under my conditions, the average is two zukes per plant at a time.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:15PM
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weirdtrev

I used an ornamental gourd (another C. pepo) to pollinate a summer squash just the other day. tcstoehr, if you don't know the difference between C. pepo (the C. is for Cucurbita), C. moschata and C. maxima you should look into it. It is very useful information to have for a home gardener who might not have lots of plants with male flowers when the females are open. I actually just received 'Butter Blossom' seeds in the mail today. It is a summer squash that produces an abundance of male flowers that I will be using to pollinate all C. pepos (I don't always care about saving seeds).

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:06PM
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wild_forager

tcstoehr, the dubious acorn zucchini hybrid you refer to is probably my post in the veggie forum. It does sound dubious indeed but farmerdilla is right, acorn is a member of C. Pepo and will cross with zucchini.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 3:20PM
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tcstoehr

> the dubious acorn zucchini hybrid you refer to is
> probably my post in the veggie forum

Whoops. My mistake. Profuse apologies.

All I knew was that 'C' was for Curcubit. I thought all summer varieties were interfruitful, and all winter varieties would be interfruitful, but never the two types together. Wrong on all counts.

It seems very strange to me this year that my Zukes, Buttersticks and Hubbards all put out female flowers well in advance of any male flowers. My Butternuts have not blossomed yet, but I remember last year's Butternuts having male flowers excruciatingly long before the females.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 4:54PM
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wild_forager

No offense taken. I'll be sure to post what these guys look like when they get a little older. Right now they are alot like an acorn squash in size, but almost completely round with no ridges. I think if they leaned more heavily on the zucchini half of the genes they'd be baseball bat size by now, so I think I might luck out with a nice small flavorful squash instead of a huge dry husk. I'm excited to give them a taste!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 8:30PM
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