Q: Q: I have a watermelon planted next to a cucumber vine. The watermelon flesh is white. Did the cucumber pollinate the watermelon?
Q: I have a squash plant that volunteered in my garden. The fruit looks like a zucchini but it is huge – three inches across and twelve inches long. How did this happen?
A: With apologies to Cole Porter, Birds do it…Bees do it…Even melons and zucchini’s do it…Pollination! Plants falling in love…
Cross-pollination among the melons, pumpkins and squashes is a confusing subject. In general, summer squash and most pumpkins will cross-pollinate each other. Watermelons and cucumbers do not cross-pollinate.
But remember – just because one plant pollinates another that does not determine the shape or taste of the fruit. It is the offspring (seed and seedlings) from such plants that may produce fruit that looks or tastes odd.
The watermelon might have white flesh because it was picked too early or because it did not receive enough sun.
The volunteer squash was likely a cross between a zucchini and a yellow crookneck, which happened last year.
Now if we could just get kudzu and watermelon to cross, we’d have a self-trellising fruit!