sepeters
Senior Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:24 pm
Location: AZ, zone 9

harvesting squash blossoms

Hello All!
The weather is getting up into the 90s here already and the summer squash plants are still small but are beginning to produce flower buds. I'm not sure if that's because of stress from the weather changing so drastically and rapidly or just business as usual, but I think I would like to harvest this first set of blossoms to eat them, rather than letting the plant fruit so early, as I am afraid it may die or abort the fruit.

I have never done this before! :) Can I use the blossoms from any squash? Do you just pick them once they've opened? I know this will not guarantee the fruit will not grow, as there are lots of bees (honey bees AND native bees), but will it stimulate the plant to produce even more flowers?

Anyone got any good (vegetarian or easily modified) squash flower recipes? Can they be eaten raw, in salads, etc? :?: :D

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Usually, first blossoms are male and not fruiting female blossoms.

There is a theory that the male blossoms open first, which attracts and alerts the local pollinators to their location so that there will be plentiful visiting pollinators when the female blossoms start blooming about a week to 10 days later.

You can pick them while still closed, but if you want to stuff them then I think it's better to wait until they open so the petals have loosened up and stretched out. On the other hand, all kinds of insects will be all over and inside the blooms by the time the sun is up. It's fun to watch bees literally dive into the pollen "bath" and come out covered. :lol: when the female blossoms open, ants will march in steady streams and cluster around inside. :x

I once found a bee trapped inside when the blossom closed for the night -- the top of the blossom sort of fuses closed and when I picked it off next morning, it vibrated and buzzed in my hand! :shock: I couldn't throw it away fast enough! :roll:

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

I usually pick squash blossoms early in the morning when they first open up. There are usually ants in them. Wash them out and remove the stamens and pistal. Stuff them with a nice melting cheese and microwave. They can also be stir fried. I've done the same thing with day lily blossoms.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

sepeters
Senior Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:24 pm
Location: AZ, zone 9

Thanks for the tips! I just realized that my summer squash are bushing varieties (which I have never grown before) and it is probably normal for them to start flowering so small.

applestar- lol @ the bee in the closed flower! I also love to watch the bees. They're so cute! And they're very friendly to me. They fly all around me and land on me all the time. I think my bright red hair confuses them and they think I am a giant mobile flower! I especially like the huge black bumble bees we have out here. I know they are robbers, but the squash flowers are big enough for them to get into and properly pollinate. When they come out of the flowers covered in pollen they almost look fluffy!

imafan- I can microwave the blossoms?! Thanks a million for that tip! Game changer! I also did not know day lilies were edible. They're on the list for next year, now! Too bad we don't have a drooling face emoticon! : p....

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