I planted squash plants among my flowers. They look great and are blooming, but they’re not setting any squash. The blossom falls off before the squash begins to grow. Any help?
When squash plants bloom without producing squash, it probably means they need help with pollination. Squash plants produce male flowers at first, followed by female flowers a few days later. (You can tell the difference this way: male flowers have a single stamen in the center; female flowers have a four-part pistil, and appear swollen just beneath the blossom.)
According to information at GardenGuides.com, if the female flowers drop off without growing a squash, it means that it didn’t get pollinated by the bees or other pollinators that visit the garden.
Squash flowers are big, so if the bees aren’t doing an adequate job, you can do it yourself. Use a cotton swab or a small, soft brush to gather the pollen from inside the male flower, and transfer it to the female flower. Or pick a male flower, remove the petals and swirl it around inside the female flower. (Look here for pictures of how this is done). With luck, a squash is born!
Hot news! The August Garden Calendar in Saturday’s Tennessean and at Tennessean.com.
Aug. 4 (and every Saturday this month): Guided garden tours at Cheekwood, 11 a.m. – noon.Tours are free with Cheekwood admission, and no reservation is required. Garden Tours meet at Botanic Hall.
Aug. 5: The Nashville African Violet Club will meet at 1:45 at the Green Hill Women’s Center, 10905 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. To learn more, contact Julie at Julie.email@example.com
Aug. 11: Celebrate the tomato at the annual Tomato Art Fest in East Nashville’s Five Points area, hosted by Art and Invention Gallery. Events include a Tomato 5K, a Fun Run, costumes, parades, games, art, entertainment, contests, competitions and more family fun. Look here to learn more.
Aug. 12: The Tennessee Gesneriad Society will meet at Cheekwood at the Frist Learning Center at 2 p.m. The program will be a pollinaton/hybridization workshop. For more info contact Julie at Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org (or 615-364-8459).
Aug. 16: Lunch and Lecture: New & Unique Plants for your Garden, noon – 1 p.m. at Cheekwood. Learn how to add color throughout the season and other helpful tips from Cheekwood’s garden staff. $15 for members, $25 for non-members (includes lunch). Call 615-353-9827 to register.
Aug. 21: Two meetings at Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall:
- The Perennial Plant Society meets at 6:30, beginning with refreshments and plant swap. Program begins at 7 p.m., and the speaker is Audubon naturalist Sherra Owens, presenting “Gardenening On The Wild Side With Nature’s Most Important Plant.”
- The Orchid Society of Middle Tennessee meets at 7 p.m. Michael Wenzel of the AtlanticBotanical Garden will speak on Phalaenopsis species.
Both meetings are open to the public.
Aug. 23: The Middle Tennessee Hosta Society meets at Cheekwood, 6:30 p.m., in the Potter Room. Guest speaker is landscape designer, photographer and writer Troy Marden; his topic: In a Southern Garden: Lessons from 20 Years of Gardening in the South.” To learn more about MTHS, visit http://www.mths-hosta.com.