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 Squash dilema!
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Author Garden Gate: Previous Topic Squash dilema! Next Topic  

Dreamer42
True Blue Farmgirl

1518 Posts

April
Central Oregon
USA
1518 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2020 :  10:06:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ladies,

I have an issue I've not been able to resolve... hoping you can help?

My squash blossoms... they either dry up and fall off or... my baby fruit start to develop and then shrivel up and fall off as well. I'm sooooo disappointed. I have even been out and trying to cross pollinate the blooms with a q-tip thinking it may be a pollination issue. Does anyone know what is causing this and what I can do to remedy the issue? I've only gotten one paddy pan from my garden this year.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!

Dreamer42
Farmgirl Sister #7038

ddmashayekhi
True Blue Farmgirl

4313 Posts

Dawn
Naperville Illinois
USA
4313 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2020 :  11:47:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It could be the male blossoms that are falling off. Only the female blossoms will grow the squash. You're doing the right thing by trying pollinate by hand, but perhaps your plants only have the male blossoms on them. I would ask a nearby garden nursery or botanical garden for their opinion. Good luck with it!

Dawn in IL

"Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August."
Jenny Han

Edited by - ddmashayekhi on Aug 09 2020 2:53:26 PM
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StitchinWitch
True Blue Farmgirl

1281 Posts

Judith
Galt CA
USA
1281 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2020 :  12:35:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The first blossoms on squash plants are always male. The females don't show up until later. It is normal for some immature fruit to drop off. It seems like they only like to have one fruit per vine, at least that has been my experience.

Judith

7932
Happiness is Homemade
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EMGJulie
Farmgirl in Training

45 Posts

Julie
Galesburg MI
USA
45 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2020 :  4:54:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, April, your county Extension office can help. For me, I lost all of my zucchini and several pumpkin vines to the destructive squash vine borer. So maddening. My zucchini never thrived - I got maybe three, 4-inch zucchinis. Not sure if you get that insect in OR. I can't say enough about seeking help from your local Extension office - science-based help. Let us know what you find out.

Julie (new Sister)
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Dreamer42
True Blue Farmgirl

1518 Posts

April
Central Oregon
USA
1518 Posts

Posted - Aug 09 2020 :  7:24:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks ladies, appreciate all the input!

Dreamer42
Farmgirl Sister #7038
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7313 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7313 Posts

Posted - Aug 11 2020 :  9:02:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
April... It sounds like you might have squash bugs. They're miserable little suckers and the bane of my garden existence every single year. Have you seen any evidence of them? Do you know what to look for? If so, then I suggest you try using soapy water on them. OR you can try my favorite go-to: food-grade diatomaceous earth, because it contains minerals which give the plants an amazing boost!

Next year, when you plant them, try and cover with fabric row covers that are water permeable. They young plants will love and thrive in the diffuse light, and they have the added bonust of helping to warm the ground. Water permeable covers allow you to leave them on 24/7 for a few weeks, but in order for them to fruit, you will eventually have to start pulling back the covers and give them full sun during the day, at least for a few hours. Just be sure to cover them back up in the evening. I kept them covered until after July 4th, because we live in a small city area and the fireworks smoke and falling ashes really harms my garden. After that, it's a free-for-all. I try to keep up with the bugs, but the plants take over my yard and it's near impossible to get in to the garden without stepping on and crushing the vines. Luckily this year I saw some baby praying mantises out there, and I think they were very helpful and keeping the bugs at bay. We just saw plants starting to die this past week, so I removed whatever big squash I could find and now will see what happens going forward. Anyhow, I did this covering of plants this year for the first time, and have had wonderful success as a result. The plants actually seem healthier and stronger, and have really thrived. This is the first time in a couple of years that I've had a huge zucchini and summer squash harvest (still ongoing, thank You God - and please help me! LOL); and in the past where I've reaped a couple of pumpkins or butternuts or spaghetti squash, this year I've had several of each, and there are still quite a few out there. We shall see!

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I know it's so heartbreaking and frustrating. Hang tough. I really hope some of this helps a little! Keep the faith!

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!


Edited by - Ninibini on Aug 11 2020 9:06:02 PM
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