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  • Upcoming Garden Events in Middle Tennessee

    March 1 – 4: Nashville Lawn & Garden Show, Fairgrounds Nashville: The annual all-indoors garden event that features live garden displays, lectures, vendors, floral designs and special programming Wine Festival featuring Tennessee wines is Saturday (March 3), noon – 5 p.m. For more information on the events and the complete lecture schedule, visit www.nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com.

    April 7: Perennial Plant Sale hosted by the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee annual Perennial Plant Sale at The Fairgrounds Nashville. Find newly released and hard-to-find perennials along with a wide range of tried and tested varieties, all from top local nurseries. The sale opens at 9 a.m. and usually sells out by early afternoon. For more information, visit www.ppsmtn.org.

    April 14: Herb & Plant Sale hosted by The Herb Society of 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at The Fairgrounds Nashville Sports Arena building. The sale offers common and rare varieties of herbs and heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery and herb markers by artist Roy Overcast for sale. For more information and a list of available plants, visit www.herbsocietynashville.org.

    April 21: Herb & Craft Fair hosted by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, 1808 Woodmont Blvd., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Top quality perennial and annual herbs, heirloom tomato plants, native and companion plants, along with food and craft items reflecting an interest in the homemade and homegrown: fresh homemade sweet and yeast breads, spice mixes, barbecue sauces, jams and jellies; knitted and sewn items, homes for birds and bees, and art, jewelry and more made from pressed flowers. Visit www.thefuun.org.

    May 12: Hosta sale hosted by the Middle Tennessee Hosta. Proceeds from the sale support the club’s activities. More information about the MTHS is at www.mths-hosta.com.

    May 19: Urban Gardening Festival, hosted by Master Gardeners of Davidson County, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden at Ellington Agricultural Center (5201 Marchant Drive in Nashville). The free event includes information about a variety of gardening methods and techniques, local artisans, exhibiters, growers and more. For information, visit www.mgofdc.org/ugf.

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The squash and the bees

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?

Squash grows after it has been pollinated by insects or by hand.

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!

 

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