Many of you now have flowers on your squash and pumpkins. I thought that today would be a good day to talk of hand pollination .
Squash and pumpkin plants are equipped with separate male and female flowers on the same vine. Yes its true.
The only flower that will form the fruit is the female flower. This flower is identified by a bulbous part on the stem close to the flower. This will quickly develop into a small fruit after pollination occurs. The male flower has a stick like stem close to his flower. It is straight and narrow and lacks the swollen bulb that is apparent below the female petals.
The male flower usually grows first and as it opens it exposes the pollinating structure inside. When it brushes against the female plant , usually with the movement of air or the transfer by bees and insects it pollinates the female squash to produce fruit.
If you wish to hand pollinate you may do so by carefully removing the petals from the male flower , exposing the stamen on the inside. Usually this stamen looks like a tiny bottle brush .
Usually in nature , bees, insects, and butterflies complete the pollination . We can do this by taking this tiny “bottle brush ” called a stamen and carefully open the petals of the female flower to expose the stigma , (the center of the flower) , and brushing the male pollen on the stamen to the female stigma.
Pollination is completed and a fruit develops .
I hope you are learning with me and thank goodness for spell check. I usually need it .
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With much fondness for you all and thanks for sharing.