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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Zucchini Not Producing

Q. My friends are giving me grief because I can't grow zucchini or other squashes. I get female flowers with the squash below the flower. I have male flowers, too. We seem to have insects around enough to pollinate other plants. But this fruit withers at about large grape size. What can I do to become one of those zucchini and squash growers who have so much they can't even give it all away?

A. It is possible that they are not open at the same time and having more than one plant should solve that problem. During high temperatures, pollination can be a problem because of sterile pollen.
Zucchini fruits yellowing and falling off
            If the plant has a very tight canopy and bees have a hard time getting to the flowers then this could prevent good fruiting. It is also possible that you have a variety that is not a good performer in our climate.
Male flowers have slender stalk supporting the flower while females stalk, which become fruit,, are much thicker.
            You may have to act like a bee do some hand pollination. You might try hand pollinating. This requires a soft paint brush and transferring the pollen from the male flower to the female flower. This is a pretty good video on hand pollinating zucchini.

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