Lack of males (squash)

ditnc(7 NC)May 27, 2009

My summer squash has 2 female blooms with yellow baby squashes on them, but I don't have ANY male flowers. I planted in late April and am in North Carolina. I do have a shorter sunlight span that I would like, but there are females. Is this common? Will more males begin to proliferate as it warms up? (This is my first time growing squash). Thanks!

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lilion

That is a tad unusual, because I thought males usually come first, but I wouldn't worry about it just yet. It is normal for the first blossums to be all of the same sex. For some reason the other's come later to the party. Don't let those baby's go to waste! You can batter and cook them, blossum and all, and I hear they are very good!!!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:11AM
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lowraine

How can you tell the difference from the male and female?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:47AM
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jwstell42(5 NY)

At the base, the female flower will have a baby squash on it (this is what grows into the fruit), where as the male will just be a straight stem.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 10:38AM
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sqftsteve

Funny that you would mention this. The other day in the early morning I went out to water the garden and was surprised to see all this yellow. All of the zucchinis opened up at the same time. I had to try one (just rinsed it off and ate it). It didn't taste like much at all. Very mild, not what I'd expect a flower to taste like. About as much flavor as a piece of iceburg lettuce. Maybe something magical happens when you cook it. ((shrug))

Newbie me, I never knew that vegetables could be this beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 11:33AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

In a few more weeks you'll be wondering where all the female fls are. Don't worry about it.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 12:02PM
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gmreeves

The magic happens when you bread them and deep fry them. The blossom just gives the breading something to stick to. :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 5:11PM
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ditnc(7 NC)

'scuse my ignorance on this, but if I have little yellow baby squashes on my plant, can I assume they have already been pollenated or there wouldn't be little yellow babies on them? Their flowers have now wilted/died. The sites I have googled tend to skip from "plant the seeds" to "you can eat the blooms" without explaining what goes on in between. Thanks for the prior responses!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:09PM
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sqftsteve

[[My summer squash has 2 female blooms with yellow baby squashes on them, but I don't have ANY male flowers.]]

Looking closely at ours, there are just flowers on stems, no little zucchinis, so I'm assuming we have all males.

Maybe we can get our squash together with your squash. Some soft music, a nice bottle of wine .....

;-)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 10:12AM
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jwstell42(5 NY)

@ ditnc

IF the baby squash has started to grow it has been pollinated, but if it just stays at about the 2 inch size, then starts to rot in a few days, it never got pollinated.

Unless you do it by hand, it's hard to know until after the flower falls off, and it starts / doesn't start to grow.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 11:06AM
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calebs_patch

I just do them all by hand. I thought the garden gods were playing tricks on me, first males, they died, then females fruit rotted. It"s easy to do. I bend the male lower over a female give a quick flick of my finger, and viola!. Sometimes I'll sacrifice a male flower and do some that are farther out of reach. ANother trick is to get the bottom of a milk bottle and put a little water in it. Instant bee attraction in the middle of the day.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 11:40AM
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ditnc(7 NC)

Thanks everyone, this explains it for me! I will check on them in a few days and see if they survive the 2" mark and continue to grow. Hopefully, the "boys" were here first when I wasn't paying attention.

Steve, thanks for the offer for the squash date! That made me laugh! ;-)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 3:55PM
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choxie(7 (NC))

I am having the same issue on my my yellow and zuchinni squash. I have had about 4 baby zukes and 3or 4 baby squash go unfertilized.

But lo and behold, this morning the first male opened his flowery head and viola, I swooped in with my fingers and did the deed. There were bees and other insect flitting around in there, but I want to make sure 100% that it was done.

It felt so good I did twice for good measure.

I'm gonna have some squash, YEAH!!!!!

Is there anything that I can do with the unfertilized zukes and yellow squash? The flowers are wilted, but it seems a shame to waste the good 2-3 inches that are left.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 12:05PM
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choxie(7 (NC))

Yeah, I finaly have males opening up by the dozens now.

Ones that I thought did not get feertilized grew to 6- inches and I cut them this weekend and grilled them.

They were good, too.

So everything is on track.

I think it was the cooler weather in mid-April that may have caused the females to come out first.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:01PM
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ditnc(7 NC)

OF two "babies" one grew past the 2" point and I have a squash! What a feast it will be ;-) LOL

Now I see more flowers. I wish the boys and girls would play cooperatively and bloom at the same time!

But maybe now that it's warmer (hot), they will start be bloom more profusely and we can get something going on here!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 6:39PM
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choxie(7 (NC))

YEAH ditnc,

It feels so good to finally pick something from the plant doesn't it?

Hopefully, by now you are getting the squash on the regular.

I am in Raleigh, and this week I have picked 3 yellow squash and 7 zuchinni.

We are rolling in them. I need to find that recipe for the zuchinni pickles, cause there will soon be too many to eat at one time for me and my family.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 2:52PM
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sqftsteve

Eureka, we have a female! Not wanting to waste any time, I ran out to the party store to rent a bee costume, then raced home and pollinated her myself.

I hope there is more where this came from. We have four plants, and so far she's the lone zucchini.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 12:59PM
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idratherbegardening

Very funny bee - thanks for the grins!

What zone/state are you in, sqftsteve? Did you plant your squash from seed or transplant? I started mine from seed about 3 weeks ago and only have two or three true leaves so far, no blooms.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:26PM
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sqftsteve

idratherbegardening,

I'm just west of NYC, apparently right on the cusp of 6a/6b.

The squash were transplants. I can't recall where they came from - likely Walmart, Lowes, or Home Depot. Looking through my daily photos I see that they were planted on 04/30 and all opened up in unison on 05/22.

It was hard to get the camera down to the bottom of the plant, so this was the best I could do. Hopefully this is only the first of many. Tomorrow I buy my last grocery store zucchini - ever! ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.youtube.com/user/sqftsteve

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 12:35AM
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idratherbegardening

Great looking zuccini! It will definitely be the first of many!

It has been a bit frustrating watching my squash and cucumber (both started from seed directly in the garden) come along so slowly. They are probably weeks - or more - behind yours. However, I did put in tomato tranplants and they are about 3 ft tall with lots of flowers. ;)

Sometimes gardening can be a challenge since patience is not my strong suit...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 8:45PM
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