loveykatie
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:50 pm
Location: Maryland

Squash Plants Flowering

Yesterday I noticed large flowers open on each of my squash plants!

How long before they bare fruit?
~Katie
First year of gardening - loving every minute!

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

First they have to get pollinated!

Squash plants have separate male and female flowers. They are easy to tell apart, because the female one comes with a little embryo squash already present behind it.

It is common for squash to only produce one gender of flowers at first (usually only male, but it can be the other way around). So no squash will get started until there are both male and female flowers. And then the pollen needs to get from the male flower to the female, usually with the assistance of bees. So you either need to have bees or other pollinators in your garden or you have to help out with hand pollinating.

Once the female flower is pollinated, it will drop off and the squash will start growing. If it is not pollinated, it will drop off anyway and the embryo squash may grow a little bit, but will get an inch or two big and then shrivel up and drop off. If all is going well, once the fruit is set and growing, a week or two to pickable size, depending on weather, etc.
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joed2323
Senior Member
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:28 pm
Location: upper michigan

How do we hand pollinate the squash, male and female just have to touch each other?
I don't want to rely on bees id rather know its pollinated if i can do it the right way... and pointers?

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jal_ut
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

The male flowers are on tall stems and the blossoms are at the level of the canopy of leaves. The female flowers are down closer to the ground, on short stems, and have a mini fruit at the base of the petals. You can take off a male blossom and strip the petals then rub the stamen on the pistil of the female, or use a q-tip to collect pollen and spread it around on the female blooms.

Some bachelors buttons in the garden will attract wild bees. Also, all members of the mint family attract pollinators.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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