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  Food Gardening > Vegetables > Squash - Pollination

Vegetables

Squash - Pollination

Gardeners growing yellow squash and zucchini may notice that many blooms come on the plant early but fall off without forming fruit. Members of the cucurbit family (melons, squash, pumpkins, gourds) have separate male and female blooms on each plant.

They are easy to tell apart. The male blooms are connected to the main stem of the plant by a simple, short green stem. Female blooms will have a short green stem plus a tiny, undeveloped fruit connecting them to the main stem.

It is normal for male flowers to appear first for a couple of weeks before female blooms appear.

Bees must visit the male and female blooms six to eight times before full pollination occurs. If bees are scarce, hand pollination can be done by gently jiggling a cotton swab alternately in male and female flowers.

You can also try removing a male flower, cutting off the flower petals and rubbing the stamen onto the central pistil of a femal squash flower.


Female flower



Male flower


Poor pollination


Poorly pollinated cucumber


Poorly pollinated cucumber



 



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