Squash delima! Help!
Okay, this seems crazy, but please tell me what you think. I have several really nice zucchini squash plants; large leaves, ,many blooms, but no fruit! They have been blooming for weeks now, planted the week after Easter. What I see is that it looks like someone comes out with a pair of scissors at night and clipped off the blooms. Nothing else in my has been eaten. What could this be (other than strange)?
Also, I have seen ants crawling around the plants and some small hills. I have used an organic insect spray and also seven dust twice. Could it be the ants....still?
hmmm. sounds like all male blooms. male blooms have a stem instead of what looks like a "baby" zuccini behind them. male blooms naturally drop off after a day. do any of the blooms you see have what looks like a tiny fruit behind them?
female blooms which are not pollinated will drop off too.
often members of the squash family will initially have only male blooms and then female blooms develop a bit later but if they have been blooming since april thay should have had lots of fruit set by now.
post some pics if you can. I doubt the ants are responsible.
I am guessing you have few female blossoms and/or they are not being polinated. the Bug killer you are using may also be killing your beneficial insects like bees. all members of the curcubit family which include all squashes, melons and cucumbers require insect pollinators so careful with insecticides "natural" or otherwise.
Thank you for your response Karen. You may be right about the male blooms. I do see one or two tiny squash forming from the innner most blooms. There are lots and lots of blooms, but most just fall off, or look snipped off. I've used both organic insect spray and seven dust. Neither have really worked to get rid of the ants or the problem. I took pics, but can't figure out how to post them. I'll keep trying. Thanks.
Here are the pictures that I took of my squash plants. I tried to point out the snipped off blooms.
All of the flowers visible that I can see are male flowers. they naturally only last a day or so and then they just drop off the plant. This is supposed to happen. The only flowers which can produce a fruit are the female flowers which look different and always have a "baby" zuccini behind the flower even before they are pollinated. If the female flowers are not pollinated the "baby zuccini" will shrivel up and drop off along with the bloom.The blackish/withered tips of some of the stems look like they may have been affected by fungus..sooo...what to do....
1.try not to wet the foliage at all when watering and don't water at evening/night. only water when the foliage can dry out fully before sunset. this helps to prevent fungus on all plants, not just squashes. water in the morning instead.
.2. try this. you are about to pollinate your own Zuccini.
take one or two of the freshest looking male flowers (which does not have the baby zuccini behind it.) pick the flower gently and carefully pull back the petals to expose the "male parts" of the flower. touch these parts /brush them against the inside of the female flowers which are the ones which have the beginnings of a zuccini visible behind the flower. bingo. you have pollinated your own zuccini flowers. this should work. if you have a shortage of bees around, you may have to help them along. "Be the Bee" so to speak.
This technique works with all squash, melons and cucumbers too
love to know if it works.. take a picture of your first zuccini and post it here! :)
Last edited by KarenZone3A; 07-16-2010 at 02:44 PM.
Thanks Karen. That sounds like great advice. Don't you think it is odd for all four of my plants to have this problem? I'll get my paint brush and get to work. I think your are right also about the fungus. I've seen it on some blooms. I think I will be challenged to find any female flowers, but I'll give it a shot. Thanks.
you're welcome! love to know how it turns out.