Posted by: Kate | August 2, 2010

Searching for a Male

The garden is coming along nicely – we have eaten two meals of potatoes, the beans are flowering, there are lovely green tomatoes on the plants.

The zucchini plant in particular has looked tantalizingly good, lots of lovely baby zucchinis starting. As soon as the flowers die off though, the baby zucchinis wither and die.

I was racking my brains trying to figure out what was happening; too hot, too dry, too late in the season? Ridiculously stumped, I finally resorted to the internet.

It turns out I should have remembered my basic sex ed classes. Zucchini plants produce both male and female blossoms (which I knew), and the male pollen needs to fertilize the female plant. If no pollination occurs, then the baby zucchini simply dies (the plant doesn’t bother to feed it). Take a closer look at my plant.

All females! No lone stalk of the male flower to be seen. This picture was taken a week ago, and the situation hasn’t changed at all. At least now that I know this, I can harvest the baby zucchinis and we can eat them as is. But let’s hope some male flowers appear soon! (And if you’re local and you have a zucchini plant with male flowers, can I have one? I can spread the pollen with a cotton swab.)

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Responses

  1. Hope you have some success! They look pretty good already. Enjoy! Ros

  2. Hi Kate! Wish I could help you, but presently, I have no garden :( Thx for the info, tho’, one day it will happen again. I’m also resorting to the Internet for just about everything – what a humungous resource! Great you’re already reaping the rewards of your ‘kitchen’ garden :)

  3. How do you tell the difference and how long does pollen remain potent?

    I have flowering plants out front, no zuccinni yet, but I am willing to to send some q-tip swabs your way.

  4. I never knew this…of course for safety I plant multiple zucchini plants (and then cuss this later in the season when I pick 6-8 a day!) so guessing that the odds are I always have both. Hope you find someone willing to share!

  5. your garden is looking great!

    did you find yourself a male flower anywhere?


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