Thursday, May 28, 2009
I am always interested in finding out all about a plant before I put it into the ground. I like those long gardening books filled with the specifics about the plants. I typically don't find all the information that I would like to have in them so I just give the plant a trial to see what happens. This is very true of my zucchini plants. I've never had much luck with the squash family, mostly they just get a fungus and die. Sounds exciting? Well, these I found from the Burpee seed catalog. They have not had any fungus and have been champs at producing those yummy zucchinis. What I find interesting is how they grow. Each plant produces male and female flowers. The males are ones that proudly reach towards the sky. They are larger and it's stem remains skinny. (top) The female flower remains close to the plant and it's stem thickens with the zucchini. (bottom) The afternoon heat closes the flowers up for the day. The pollinating bee population is for unknown reasons, on the decline. Your hope is that an insect will carry the pollen from the male to the female, fertilizing and ultimately producing the zucchini. Did you know you can hand pollinate with a paint brush in the early morning if the insects are not doing a satisfactory job?