Saturday, August 02, 2008

Zucchini in My Vegetable Garden

My zucchini plant has tried to be prolific this year. The problem is the zucchini is a single speciman. This leads to a problem. As growers of zucchini know, there are male and female flowers on a zucchini plant. The female flower sits atop a very small zucchini waiting to be fertilized. The male flower sits atop a stalk. To have fertilization, both flowers need to be present in the same window of opportunity. If you have multiple plants, the likelihood of having both a male and female flower in bloom is much higher.

In the photo, you can see one zucchini which has been fertilized. It appears healthy and green. You can see the yellowish, withering stub of an unfertilized zucchini under a leaf. You can also see the growing male and female flowers at about 8 and 9 o'clock in the photo. The female flower is less developed and is at 8 o'clock. The male flower is at 9 o'clock.

So far, I have had two occurences of the simultaneous blooming the male and female flowers. And since I help nature along by assisting in the pollination process, I have had two zukes this summer. Currently there is a maturing zuke on the vine which probably will be harvested within the next 12 hours.

Oh, note to year more than one zucchini plant, please.


Anonymous said...

I plant 2 plants per hill.

earlysnowdrop said...

Thanks...that sounds like good advice for next year.


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