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Polinating by hand

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Rosepetal on July 19, 2006 12:51 PM
I have been polinating my squash and zucchini flowers by hand for a while now.

Today I could not find one male flower on my zucchini plants, is it ok to use the squash ones if this happens or should I just wait for zucchini males to appear again?

It seems dumb asking this question, but I was puzzled this morning.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by Danno on July 19, 2006 02:54 PM
correct me if i'm wrong but you'll be cross pollinating? Wont you yeild squash/zukes and could grow seed from this? I also had this problem when my zukes first started growing. surprisingly they still fruited full!
by LandOfOz on July 19, 2006 05:02 PM
If you cross pollinate it will not effect the fruit itself but rather the seed. You will get a hybrid plant from those seeds, if germinated.

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by johnCT on July 20, 2006 12:27 AM
quote:
Originally posted by LandOfOz:
If you cross pollinate it will not effect the fruit itself but rather the seed. You will get a hybrid plant from those seeds, if germinated.
Ditto!

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John - Zone 6
by Rosepetal on July 21, 2006 04:20 AM
Soooo... from your info' here, it's ok to pollinate squash to zucchini and I'll still get the zucchini that I want, but if I'm gathering for seed I'll have something different? Am I right?

I just want the present zucchini flowers/fruit to grow well. I will not be doing this once I see more zucchini males.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by houseonthehill on July 21, 2006 09:10 AM
Can someone tell me the steps to take to pollinate a zucchini or cucumber?

Thanks!
by pagarden on July 21, 2006 10:05 AM
i take the male flowers (the ones with no fruit at the base) rip off some of the flower so it's easier to handle and then stick it in the female flower (the one with the fruit growing) and make sure some of the pollen gets in there. [Smile] i'm sure the tons of bees do the job but i want to be sure so i go ahead and do it myself too.
by tkhooper on July 21, 2006 10:37 AM
I've found that an eyebrow brush works great when I want to hand polinate.

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by Ironside on July 21, 2006 02:25 PM
When the bee population in your garden is too low for good fruit set, you can substitute for the bees by pollinating by hand. Hand pollination is a tedious chore, but if you really like squash and there are no bees in your garden, it's the only way you will be able to harvest a crop. You can use a small artist's paintbrush to transfer pollen, or you can break off a male flower, remove its petals to expose the pollen-bearing structure, and roll the pollen onto the stigma, the structure in the center of the female flower. The pollen is yellow and produced on the structure in the center of the male flower. Flowers open early in the day and are receptive for only one day. When hand pollinating, it's important to use only the freshly opened flowers. The female flower has a small fruit behind the flower. The male flower is long and slender.
by Rosepetal on July 21, 2006 02:32 PM
That's what I've been doing and it works great.

The idea of using a small brush sounds really good, that way I wouldn't have to pull off each male flower.

I now have fruit growing again.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by tkhooper on July 22, 2006 06:42 AM
Rose you may also want to plant hollyhocks somewhere in your garden next year. It draws all the bees in the neighborhood and then they stick around and pollinate everything else. I know it takes them two years to bloom. But you could put a couple of seeds in the ground now. Get foliage this year and blooms next year.

I had no idea we had this many bees in the neighborhood until I planted 3 hollyhocks last year. This year I had bees galore.

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by LandOfOz on July 22, 2006 02:13 PM
tkhooper, I've planted lots of zinnas around the border of my garden, in the hopes of creating a bee-attracting paradise. But that hasn't helped much. I still only see a few bees (less than 5) every morning--and I'm out there for a few hours!! I will definately be trying to hunt down some hollyhock seeds to plant soon!!

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by chrissy fair on July 22, 2006 04:03 PM
I've been hand pollitating my zuccs for some tiem now. Have not cross pollinated...yet. But have seen some...the hybreds are both squash AND zucc, but taste like zucc. Very neat for kids to grow if you have any around the nieghborhood or in the home!!

I DO have picture of hand pollinating and the differamce between male and female. Go HERE:
and scroll down to the bottom part of the page.
[thumb]
by Rosepetal on July 24, 2006 08:07 AM
Thanks TK

I'm going to get one of my boys to build a container beside my greenhouse this summer yet and will plant those hollyhocks. Hand pollinating works so far for me, but it is a daily job and I'm probably not doing it as well as the bees could.

Thanks for the idea of starting this year yet.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by Rosepetal on July 24, 2006 08:11 AM
Chrissy,

Your pictures are excellent! Thanks for sharing them with us.

This morning when I checked on my squash and zukes there was only 1 male squash flower for me to work with and 5 female flowers. Because of this stortage I've had to cross pollinate between the two fruits.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.

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