zucchini and crookneck squash question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by oz in SC, May 16, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    mrs oz here :)

    My zucchini and crookneck squash are absolutely gorgeous and are covered in blooms, both male and female. The first round of squash has come, but don't seem to be developing completely. Normally squash and zucchini both grow sooo fast, but these don't seem to be getting any bigger (they are only about 3" long). A couple have rotted on the ends, which I have gotten rid of. Should I just pick them all and hope the next batch is better?? I'm just not sure what the problem is.
     
  2. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    It sounds like the girls bore fruit, but the boys didn't pollinate)or incompletely)
    Obviously remove the bad ones. Try taking a male bloom and taking it to the girls ( I think you can do a couple with ione male if you don't rub too hard)
    Also, how steady has the water been?
     

  3. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like a rot/fungus to me. Try keeping the squash off the ground - put a board under the fruit and water the ground not the foliage. Squash are VERY gourmet at 3-4 inches, tender, tasty, yummy.
     
  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    mrs oz here :)

    The watering has been steady, so I don't think they should be under any stress. Are you worried about too little water or too much?? It's so dry here and our soil is so sandy that it's hard to overwater, but I will make sure not to water the foliage from now on. I water everything else with sprinklers but I'll water these by hand.

    I've cut any leaves off that had yellowed and discarded. I've also picked all the fruit that the blossoms had dropped off of. Any that still have good blossoms on I left in hopes of them growing. Also, once the blossom does dry up or fall off, is that the end of the fruit's growth or will it continue to grow if left on the vine?

    I can try in the morning to pollinate them by hand and see if that helps.

    None of the fruit is actually touching the ground. They did not get large enough where they drooped and touched.

    Thanks for all the help.

    P.S. Should any of the foliage be cut back to allow them to get more light?? They are in raised beds, I forgot to mention.
     
  5. Oz;

    Squash, no matter what kind, grow pretty much alike. The small fruit is pollenized, then drops its flower. It will then grow to its max genetic capability if left alone. Crookneck will get up around 5 or 6 pounds and hard like a gourd. Zuchini will grow to 25-30 pounds, petit pan (scallops) to around ten, same for butternut, acorn. Some of the others will get up arount 25 too.

    Often squash will not get pollinated and fail to develop properly. Bees in the neighborhood are a real plus for all curcurbits.

    However, the main culprit is cold, wet weather. Squash grows best when cotton thrives, same as okra.

    I suppose you know enough to watch for squash borers (sting bugs) ?
    If you are not an organic purist, thiodan is the preventive of choice. A mild insecticide with a long residual; Spray only the runners out about three feet from the roots. If you get a real infestation, spray the runners where you see bugs.
    Ox
     
  6. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    Usually the first squash fail to develop because the bees haven't found them yet, it won't be long before they find them, that is if you still have bees in your area.
     
  7. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    mrs oz here :)

    Looks like you were right heelpin. The bees have arrived at my squash bed and it's amazing. Everything is doing GREAT!! Thanks for the help everyone. I hope everyone's garden is doing well.