8/21/08

Zuchinni problems


This is our garden, after a scorching hot day, desperately needing to be watered. It is small, but fun. We have yellow squash, zucchini squash, tomatoes, carrots, and sweet corn. Last year the garden was a breeze, it just grew and grew and grew. This year we started out with corn that wouldn't stay standing, about everyday I went out and had to stand at least a couple of the plants up and bury their roots again. Now my zucchini are getting to be about 3 inches long, turning yellow and shriveling on the vine and same with the squash. What is a girl to do?! So I googled it, and turns out the fruits aren't getting properly pollinated. The solution, to hand pollinate! What?! Are you kidding?! Nope. Read on:

"A common reason for rotting and shriveling zucchini is lack of pollination by bees. Pollination is absolutely required for fruit set. Without pollination, the fruit that grows will yellow, shrivel, rot and die. Three solutions: Get some bees. Attract some bees or hand pollinate.

The zucchini has a male flower and a female flower, which must be pollinated in order for you to get proper fruit. To hand pollinate, break off a male flower, remove its petals to reveal the yellow pollen on its pistol, then roll the pollen onto the center stigma of the female flower.

You tell flowers apart because female flowers are larger and have a baby fruit behind their petals. The male flowers grow on a long stem and are smaller."


Now seriously, WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT?! But I did it, I wen't and hand pollinated a squash and two or three zucchini. But I have to do this much more often, since day before yesterday there are already 4-5 more shriveled up zucchinis on my plants. I get all itchy and red and rashy from digging around in the plants, and I hate the way the smell, so this part of gardening is not fun, but what a lesson for the kids! I love picking tomatoes though, I think they smell great! And the smell reminds me of the HUGE gardens my grandpa used to have in the summertime.

4 comments:

Brandy's Adventure said...

What a green thumb! Not me, I am lucky to keep my ONE plant alive in my house. I just can not remember to water the thing! I always pick one plant that survives a LONG time without water and it seems to do well in the house.
I would love to have a garden though. I love fresh fruits/vegetables. Maybe one day, when I have my dream farm....yes, I want to have a farm one day! My secret is out!

Melissa said...

Now, why did you not tell everyone it was your birthday!?! Duh, I knew it was in August! Usually Myspace tells me the b-days! Sorry I forgot!!!! "Happy Birthday to you,happy birthday too you! etc,etc..."

The Ballinger Family said...

Okay.....I can just picture you doing this, laughing and thinking to yourself that you just de-flowered a flower ;o} Too cute!
Thanks for sharing...Tracy

Carrie said...

Just looking through some of your old posts and had to comment on this!

Guess what? My husband sells bumblebees for pollination purposes! He sells to farmers and fruit growers across the country. The company he works for breeds and raises bumblebees for pollination.

I could talk about it forever because it's so fascinating, but I'll spare the details. But hey, I WOULD'VE THOUGHT!! haha