Mastering Pollination: Squash, Cucumbers, and Pumpkins

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The cousins of melons-pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, cherries and stamen pellets – have a reputation for being poorly pollinated. You may notice that your plants are covered with flowers, but you get little fruit. Why? A number of factors can contribute to pollination problems, but it is useful to learn a little more about curcubitis at the beginning.

Representatives of this family have separate male and female flowers, and in order for them to bear fruit, cross-pollination must take place. This is when the pollen is transferred from a male flower to a female flower.

It is easy to distinguish two types of flowers; male flowers have a straight stem under the flower, while female flowers have an immature fruit under the flower. Only female flowers become fruits. If there is no pollination, these immature fruits rot and fall off.

Knowledgeable gardeners may also notice that when turmeric begins to bloom, only male flowers form on the plants. don’t worry! It only takes a week or two and many female flowers appear soon.

What causes poor pollination of pumpkin?

There are too few bees and pollinators to transfer pollen from male flowers to female flowers.

Period of very cool or very hot weather when the flowers bloom.

Wet weather or untimely watering affect the amount and quality of pollen. If you have to water, avoid early in the morning when the flowers are just opening. Water the soil, not the plant.

What is the gardener doing?

When your turmeric plants are blooming, you don’t need to cross your fingers and hope for the best! Instead, give Mother nature a helping hand by hand pollinating them. Manual pollination is quick and easy and can significantly increase your harvest.

Before you start, take a cotton swab or a small bristle brush or pluck a male flower that has just bloomed from the plant. When using a cotton swab or brush, gently press the anthers of the fresh male flower and transfer the pollen to the stigma of the female flower. If you want to pollinate with a male flower, choose a beautiful specimen of the plant and remove the petals to expose the anthers. Then it is enough to press it against the stigma of the female flowers.

In my garden, manual pollination of cucumbers, zucchini and squash leads to an increase in the number of fruits on the plant and an earlier harvest.

However, for some crops, such as edible snake, bottled pumpkin and washcloth, it is important to pollinate them by hand. Many pumpkin flowers open at night when there are fewer pollinators. Manual pollination of female flowers that have just bloomed gives an excellent harvest.

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