Squash Mysteries

Hey, you bee, you got my cucumber in my Trombetta!

Some interesting twists and turns in the garden, as usual.

I did realize that cross-pollinating between cucumbers and squash do occur. It’s result is sometimes ‘parthenocarpic’, fruit that is seedless.

But, different fruits off the same plant?
This is news to me.
But, I’ll bet the Robo-Bees in the future technocrazy will have an ap for that!

These really did come off the same plant, same age, Hubby just happened to harvest some before I got a side-by-side photo. Next time.

I have the big seed-saving goals this year, but there is a learning curve for sure.

Because of space requirements, and that learning curve that seems to be getting steeper by the month, I decided to start with just a few crops. I already do most of the herbs, and the other easy stuff, like okra and sunflowers. I’ve ventured slightly into peppers and tomatoes, with negligable results.

Cucumbers, melons and squash are all in the ‘challenging’ category. I thought I planned correctly when I put the ones I want to seed-save at opposite ends of the garden, but then. . .

In my reference book, The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds by Robert & Cheryl Gough, it seems pretty hopeless. “Recommended isolation distance for varieties that can cross-pollinate is 1 1/2 to 2 miles; recommended isolation distance for other Cucurbita species is 1/4 mile.”

As in, Miles?! Oh my.

And furthermore, there’s another squash mystery. I’ve got zucchini right by Trombetta, as already mentioned. Yet the zucchini leaves, which look gorgeous, better than I’ve ever seen them, are flowering, and not producing. Yet the cucumbers and Trombetta are producing like crazy, and the Trombetta leaves are not really looking too good.

Any gardener, myself included, would immediately claim a gorgeous zucchini plant flowering just fine, but not producing, is the result of poor pollination.

But, I know, that’s highly unlikely. First, I’ve seen bees on them. Second, the nearby Trombetta and cucumber, also bee-pollinated, are producing just fine.

So, what gives?

And furthermore, more, why does spellcheck capitalize Trombetta and not zucchini?

I’m open to facts, theories, or random guesses.

Author: KenshoHomestead

Creatively working toward self-sufficiency on the land.

9 thoughts on “Squash Mysteries”

  1. The thing about the paragraph breaks is that it’s not just in comments on WP. Hitting enter does nothing anywhere else, either! I’m using my phone now, but I’m hoping when I’m restart my computer, it’ll be working. Who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Could be, on the nitrogen. It’s getting lots of flowers too though, which I’d think wouldn’t bother. I’ll need to look into that, thanks!

    And yes, I’ve noticed that about the paragraph breaks sometimes too when making comments, works sometimes and not others, and sometimes when it looks like it’s not working, when I look back at another time suddenly the breaks are back again. Another mystery? Hehe 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One possibility: your zucchini has too much nitrogen. It’s energy is going towards growing those big healthy leaves, instead of growing fruit. We have a lot of summer and winter squash this year, and saving seed is probably going to be a lost cause. We’re not about to put little baggies around flowers and hand pollinate, when there are so many! However, these are mostly new varieties we don’t even know if we like yet, and heritage varieties that are supposed to breed true. We do have one variety that’s well away from all the others. Not a quarter mile, but with a house, trees and yards in between, it’s highly unlikely for cross pollination to happen. Either way, once we know what we like and don’t like, we’ll grow fewer varieties. Also, it seems the entre key to make paragraph breaks has stopped working!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve got the extreme heat! It seems like a miracle anything is producing. The birds and bees don’t seem to mind too much, thank heavens. Wishing you a fruitful growing season, thanks for popping in!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting, Carol, thanks so much for sharing! I knew how badly the heat affects our tomatoes, but did not associate that also with a pollen issue, as mentioned in the article. And thanks too for the kudos on the gardens. I’ve had that issue too with germination early in spring—sometimes prompting me to re-seed thinking it was a total failure, only to have all the seeds then come up suddenly, super dense from over-seeding. Glad yours are peeking up at last!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had the same problem with my cucumbers & squash in the past. I never seemed to be able to stop it though I tried. The bad part is that I read that it could be too much water, too little water, improper soil alkalinity. vine borers, etc. I tried planting in a different location but that didn’t help either. Like you it remained a mystery for me. Maybe a different site would have found some other solutions. I finally gave up on the squash as it wasn’t worth the trouble. Moving the cucumbers did seem to help. I think the most difficult problem is trying to grow so many different plants that have different needs which can make you dizzy after a while. Good luck on your search for a cure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. KH, you have such amazing gardens. My plants are just emerging even though I planted some seeds a month ago. Perhaps it was too cold and rainy in May for them. It sounds like you’re dealing with different challenges. I just skimmed this article and wondered if it might be relevant for your location.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe the heat? Back when I used to grow a bunch of pumpkins, extreme heat in late august would cause a drop in fruiting. Or maybe the bees are just playing tricks on you. I wouldn’t put it pass them.

    Liked by 1 person

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