Category Archives: Buds & Fruit Set

Female Blossoms, But No Male Blossoms To Pollinate Them

These hybrid 8 Ball Zucchini plants grow fast and strong, but they put out female blossoms first!?  I have had 4 female blossoms so far, but not a single male cucurbit blossom to pollinate them with.  Since I’m not saving seed, ANY male cucurbit blossom would have worked – squash, cucumber or melon.

8 ball zucchini first fruit

What a waste.  I decided last season that I didn’t plan to buy anymore 8 Ball seeds because they could be hard to harvest.  Often, the round fruit would form on the bottom of the plant stem so that to harvest it I had to move the stem around a bit.  I don’t like to move the stems – they could snap or bend.  And then when I cut the plant off, if it was under the stem, the plant would usually fall over because the fruit was holding the plant up.  Just too messy.  However, since I still have seeds, I will plant some each year until the seeds are gone.

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Squash Blossoms on the Compost Pile

An interesting thing here – I pulled out most of my summer squash plants because with my limited space, it is time to plant my winter garden.

I tossed the pulled squash vines on the compost pile and the next day I see these blossoms on pulled plants.  It amazes me how much life is still in pulled plants.

squash blossoms on pulled plants tossed on compost pile

By the end of the day, lots more waste was tossed on the pile and covered these blooms.

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Crenshaw Winter Squash

Originally published Summer 2011
(If you read my very first post, you will find that I am slowly re-creating my gardening blog that I originally hosted on my own domain,, but that my web host lost. Fortunantly, they were able to provide me a dump file that contained my writings and I am now recreating the blog).

Because of the many problems that I experience with certain winter squash, especially c. maxima, I, for the most part, only grow c. moschata winter squash.  However, since there is always an exception to things, this year I am also growing 1 Crenshaw winter squash (and a few Table Queen Acorns made it so far).  The problems I encounter with c. maxima include the evil, dreaded squash vine borer, excessive squash bugs and the environmental issue that the hot, dry south just isn’t the best place to be growing the awesomely beautiful jumbo squash.

As mentioned in previous posts, I have pre-emptively injected BT worm killer into the base of the stem of my one Crenshaw squash plant that germinated and survived. This is to try to prevent the evil squash vine borer from killing it. I need to remember to perform this injection of BT every 2 weeks or so during the summer – and also for all of my summer squash.

This is my first crenshaw squash:  (note that I put my squash on a board or something similiar.  This keeps the fruit from rotting and keeps the moles and gophers from tunneling up into the fruit.)

Crenshaw squash first fruit

This is my 2nd fruit:

Crenshaw squash - 2nd fruit

These pics were taken a week ago. I now have several more fruit and these 2 firsts are much larger. Winter squash have a characteristic of trying to pop out a few roots at each leaf junction in the stem. I need to put dirt on these roots and encourage them to grow into the ground. This strengthens the vine by providing more roots so that if the initial stem is damaged -like maybe by borers – the plant will still survive. I knew full well that this would be an issue when I decided to grow my 5 butternut varieties up onto cattle panels. So far this plant is nice an healthy and is sending out branches at many leaf junctions.

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