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Post  jeboo on 5/28/2010, 5:09 pm

My plants are beautiful and have lots of blooms but when the squash gets about 2 inches long it starts to shrivel up to turn brown. Any suggestions?
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Post  manitoak123 on 5/28/2010, 8:52 pm

Squash plants may produce female flowers before there are male flowers to polinate them. When this occurs they will produce a small fruit that will rot and fall off. They will also drop new fruit when there is already an abundance of fruit on the plant. Give it a bit more time to set fruit before you worry....it is not a disease. This is one of my squash plants today....
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Post  jeboo on 5/28/2010, 9:51 pm

Thanks manitoak123!! Your squash looks great!
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/29/2010, 6:42 am

If this keeps happening, you can hand pollinate. Just take a male flower, strip off the petals and dab the pistil it on the female pistil. (I think I'm blushing describing this I need yellow squash advice Icon_redface )
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Post  Megan on 5/29/2010, 7:48 am

How do you tell the male and female squash flowers apart again? Hopefully this is a family-safe subject. Smile
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Post  happyfrog on 5/29/2010, 9:50 am

i personally have no clue how to tell the difference, BUT!

last year i had amazing crop of FOUR canteloupe from one pollination session on a single plant - all i did was take a qtip and when i saw flowers one day swabbed the inside of every flower a couple times - going back and forth til i know i got them all at least 2x - figured the pollen would be appropriately blended then..

worked great! wish i had done it the next time i saw a bunch of flowers but i got distracted with kids and 'stuff'. ..

this year, i'm gonna do better and see if i can double the harvest per plant!

i also put a child's 'artist paintbrush' in my gardening 'gear' so when i see flowers, i can be mroe delicate about pollination. qtip is pretty big.

hth.

bettyann
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Post  jeboo on 5/29/2010, 10:15 am

I went out this morning to pollinate my squash and was surpriseed that only one of the blooms was female. I have had so much fun with my first garden and everyday I learn something new. I just assumed that if there was fruit forming that it was not a pollination problem!!!! Now I am going to try it with my cucumbers I need yellow squash advice Icon_smile
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/29/2010, 1:54 pm

@Megan wrote:How do you tell the male and female squash flowers apart again? Hopefully this is a family-safe subject. Smile

The female flowers have a bulb behind them which is the baby squash, and the pistils are small bulbs in the center of the plant. The male blossom is on a stem and the pistil is, well, "male like". I need yellow squash advice Icon_rolleyes ( Hope that passes the family-safe requirement.)

I use a small paintbrush for cukes as I sometimes have to be a contortionist to see which are males or females. It's just easier to touch a paintbrush to each blossom.
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