Squash and Pumpkin Hand Pollination

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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 .

In future blogs I will tell you about a product for food preservation and how I use it .  I am so excited about this procedure .  I have tested it and will send pictures of my results .   I am so enthusiastic and I really hope that you will all check out https://harvestright.com/439.html

With much fondness for you all and thanks for sharing.

Grandma Jean

3 thoughts on “Squash and Pumpkin Hand Pollination

  1. I find that summer squash plants tend to produce SO much that there is not need for hand pollination. However, a colleague who grows giant pumpkins prefers to do hand pollination so that the seed from the pumpkins will be salable afterward. He must bag the female flowers before they open to prevent them from getting prematurely pollinated, and then pollinate them with a specific male flower. I think that he hand pollinates other pumpkins and winter squash as well, just to be able to control the number of fruits that develop. I would let my hubbard squash produce only about two fruits each because I thought that is all they would sustain. However, my colleagues hand pollinates to get several more, and they all develop quite well. Bigger pumpkins are not so numerous of course. When I was a kid, my great grandmother took the top flowers off of small batches of corn to swat around the tassles below. She would use only one top flower at a time. It might be repeated every few days. It helped in small batches, where there was not much pollen floating about.

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