Non Productive Zucchini

Asked July 30, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

Out of 5 plants we have harvested only 2 small zucchini. Is there something we need to add to the soil?

Sussex County Delaware

1 Response

The most likely culprit is lack of pollination. The first flowers to appear are the male flowers. The female flowers come later and are identified by what appears to be a miniature zucchini behind the flower. Zucchini are insect pollinated. if there is a lack of pollinators due to wet or very humid weather or significant insecticide spraying in the area the flowers will drop off and the miniature zucchini will rot. In very humid and very wet weather as we have been having in Sussex County the pollen will clump and not be transferred by the insects. The insects are less active in wet and humid weather. Hand pollinating is recommended. Pick a newly opened male flower first thing in the morning and peel off the petals to expose the stamen. Rub the stamen on the female stigma. If both flowers are fresh fertilization should occur. In the future planting flowers near the zucchini plants will attract bees and help with the pollination. If you haven't had a soil analysis done in the last few years it would help to have one to determine if some additions are needed, however if you are getting lots of flowers but no vegetables pollination is probably the culprit. You can get a kit for the analysis at the Carvel Center on Route 9 next to Sussex Tech. Good luck with your garden. Tony