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How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

A Guest Post From Growing Real Food

 

Hey guys!  I am currently in the process of making a LIFE move from Wisconsin to the great state of Florida!

As you can imagine, I am short on time for the next few weeks, but really wanted to share a few articles from our sister website – Growing Real Food

If you have been around my blog, you know that I love to garden! I will be starting my garden from scratch once again at my new home, so I can’t wait to share the entire process with you in the upcoming months. So lets move onto todays post, shall we?

Producing More Zucchini and Squash

 

For many years I have been growing zucchini and squash.  I can remember when I was a kid and headed out to the fields to pick some zucchini and squash.

There were LOADS of squash, we had such a hard time keeping up with them and often times would hand them out to neighbors so we wouldn’t waste them.

As the years went on I started to notice less and less.  Some years would be great and others I would get no squash at all.  What was I doing wrong?

The Bee Population is Dangerously Low

 

Through the years I have also noticed a huge decline in bees.  Bees are a huge part of gardening and many fruits and vegetables cannot grow without the help of bees.

The bee population has been on a decline for many years now and it is dangerously low.  I know many home gardeners who now bring bees into their garden so that their gardens flourish and grow with great success.

The bees job is to go into the plants and grab the pollen and pollinate female flowers from the male flowers.  I know, a bit confusing, but if the female flower doesn’t get pollinated with the male pollen, it cannot grow fruit.

Today we are going to look at how to produce more zucchini and squash. I will show you how to self pollinate squash flowers so that you will produce more zucchini and squash!

The Birds and The Bees

 

Who knew that we were going to talk about sex?  But in a sense, we are going to talk about it.

Did you know that a zucchini cannot grow unless the male pollinates the female flower.  Kind of like the sperm implanting the egg isn’t it?

Once the female flower gets the pollen from the male flower than the female flower can grow a “baby” or its fruit.  Pretty amazing right?

So lets look at what the difference is between a female and male flower.

Female and Male Stems Differ

 

Let’s look at this picture closely.  The first thing you need to do is identify which flowers are males and which flowers are females.

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

The first area we are going to look at is the stem of the flower.  A female flower has a thick stem, it almost looks like a zucchini is starting to grow.  (Do you notice in the picture above how thick the stem is?)

A male flowers stem is much thinner than the female flower.  Look at the picture below.  Notice the difference?

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Female Stigma

 

There is also another way to tell the difference between male and female flowers.  Look at the center of the flower (in picture below).  The center is where all the pollen is stored.  This is the heart of the flower.

In a female flower, the center is called a female stigma.  Notice that it has multiple prongs.

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Male Anther

 

The center of a male flower is much different than the female.  Take a look at the picture below.  Notice that it only has one prong.  This is the male anther.

The pollen of the male anther is the only way that fruit can grow on a female flower.  It really is a simple process to pollinate a female flower with the male pollen.

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

How To Hand Pollinate Squash Flowers To Produce More Zucchini and Squash

 

So in my case, my bee population is really low this year.  So I have decided to take the steps to hand pollinate my squash plant.

I should note that oftentimes when a squash plant first start to bloom with flowers they might only produce male flowers.  This is normal and most likely in several weeks the female flowers will start to bloom.  So if you only see male flowers, wait a week or so and check back.

It is best to do this in the morning.  At night the flowers close up and in the morning they open up when the humidity is relatively low.

You will need a dry paintbrush. With the dry brush, lightly touch the male anther and get the pollen on the brush.

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

This is what the pollen will look like on the brush.  One male flower can pollinate many female flowers.

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Now simply brush the pollen from the male anther onto the female stigma as pictured below.

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Are You Ready To Produce More Zucchini and Squash?

 

That’s it!  Now leave them be and pretty soon before you know it, you will have a ton of zucchini and squash like this one!

And once you get your first squash, be sure to check out our Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe {Gluten Free & Grain Free}. It is truly amazing!!

How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

Growing Real Food

 

This post was provided to us from our sister website – Growing Real Food.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit us at Growing Real Food, hop on over there and check us out! :)

 


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5 thoughts on “How To Produce More Zucchini and Squash In Your Garden!”

  1. Daryl says:

    Does this work with cucumbers as well? I did notice a lot of bees around the flowers. So maybe I won’t need to help with pollination.

  2. We’ve had NO LUCK with zucchini ever. I can’t figure out why. We can try this but likely it will have to be next year – that is, if we are willing to try it again. Thanks for the tips.

    We think we had a worm the first year, and this year we heard it might have been spiders. No idea why we can’t get zucchini to grow.

  3. Brian says:

    I would say most important thing is your soil and fertilizer. A nice fluffy soil and some phosphorous containing fertilizer like fish bone meal.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      I think quality soil is the key. If you have good quality compost in your soil, then no need to fertilize.

  4. Brian says:

    True, but the whole article is about producing more zucchini. Top dress your soil with a bit of fish bone meal when they start to fruit and they will have more nutrients when thy need them, instead of slowing down production later in the season, you will have more zucchini than ever!

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