About Gardening: Pollinating Zucchini Plants

by Mira Dessy

Dear Mira:
In the last edition of "The Dollar Stretcher," you said that you felt zucchini was the easiest thing to grow and it's the one thing that hasn't yet seemed to work for me! Actually that and squash. Last year I did squash in my south- facing garden. The year prior, I lived in a different house and tried zucchini in an east-facing garden. Both times I got plenty of foliage and many flowers, but no fruit. I know for sure I had bees around last year... are they just not pollinating the plant? Is there any way you know of pollinating by hand? Are there beneficial plants I could plant close by or soil ammending I need to do? Please help; I love both of these vegetables! Also, I live in Minneapolis, MN. Thank you very much!
Nicole P.

Dear Nicole,
Funny enough to get zucchini you need both male and female flowers on a plant. The female ones are the ones that produce the fruit and are usually smaller. You might have been using an old packet of seed. If you are using a new packet of seed you might try touching all the flowers and that way passing pollen from one blossom to another.
Hope this helps.

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