Newbie gardening questions

fritz_monroe(7a)June 9, 2008

This is my first year planting a garden. I have 2 zucchini plants that are looking really good. The one plant has a flower that's been open the past couple days, but it's the only flower that's open. There are several male flowers on the plant, just not yet opened. Will the squash this flower is attached to develop even without male flowers open? Does it need fertilized to produce the fruit or only to develop viable seeds?

Thanks

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nick123(z4b / sunset 44)

Depends upon the cultivar. There are a few parthenocarpic zucchini, such as Jackpot that will bear fruit without pollination.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:09PM
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nick123(z4b / sunset 44)

I should have added that zucchini is Cucurbita pepo, the same species as true pumpkins (not those giant orange hubbards which are C. maxima), crookneck squash, scallop squash, delicata, acorn squash, and many others. If you can get a male flower from any of the above, it will pollinate your female zucchini flower.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:17PM
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fritz_monroe(7a)

These are grey zucchini. I don't have any of the other species growing. And looking around the neighborhood, it doesn't look like there's anyone within a 1/4 mile that's growing a vegetable garden. But here's hoping that somehow I have a male flower somewhere around.

I now have 2 female flowers opened up. I posted this same question in another forum and the person answering said that the squash would abort. Know any details of this? Will it just shrivel up? How big do you think it will get before that happens?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 4:54PM
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weirdtrev

If it is pollinated it will grow immediately, otherwise it will rot in a couple days. It won't get any bigger if it is not pollinated. If after a day you see no change in size it probably didn't get pollinated. You can however still eat them with the blossom still attached, even though there isn't much to them.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:30AM
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fritz_monroe(7a)

Well, that zuke wasn't pollinated. Today it turned yellow and the end with the blossom got really soft. So I cut it off. But this morning there was a male and female flower open. Tonight I took a good look and tomorrow morning there will be several male and females open on each plant. I don't see a lot of bees around, so hope some make it to the flowers. I did see some ants climbing on the flowers, any chance they will pollinate the flowers?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:57PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

If there are no bees pick the male flower and remove the petals. Then use the center of the male flower to brush the center of the female flower.

Zeuspaul

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 1:04AM
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fritz_monroe(7a)

Well, there is something that's pollinating them. I have a zuke that is growing like crazy. In the past 2 days it went from about 2" to just shy of 5". So it's getting there.

I've looked at the possibility of hand pollinating, but I wanted to give nature a shot first. If we don't start getting more that are pollinating, I'll give hand pollination a try.

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 2:18PM
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fritz_monroe(7a)

I figured I'd give an update. Today I picked an 8" zucchini. I don't like cooked zuchini, but my wife does, so I wanted to ensure that she gets a good tender zuke. We only have 2 plants, but have 3 or 4 zucchinis that are growing like mad.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:52PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Is this a male or female?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 10:47AM
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fritz_monroe(7a)

In your thread, someone said it was male. Personally, I can't tell without seeing the stem. The female has a little squash attached to it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 6:00PM
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tcstoehr

Definitely male. The female flower has much more going on in there. The male has a single, monolithic structure like in the picture. The female has a much larger structure which looks like it's sorta subdivided. Kinda forms a ring.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 2:42PM
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ethansmumy

I am growing pumpkins for the first time. I am worried about all the rain we have been getting lately only due to the fact that I am scared my blossoms won't pollinate. Can pollination still occur in the rain? My husband mentioned the wind helps too but I am just getting nervous that I won't have any pumpkins. I have read about taping blossoms shut how do you do this and would anyone recommend me to do this?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:27AM
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