Squash blossoms - only a few male blossoms

Asked July 19, 2017, 12:05 AM EDT

I have three squash plants in a raised bed with tomatoes and peppers that are thriving. The squash plants are getting large but they have only produced a few male blossoms. I tried to pollinate the single female blossom I saw. It looks like there may be buds growing but I haven't seen anything new blossoms develop in the past two weeks. Is it possible something is eating the blossoms off? The soil is good and I fed the plants once to encourage female blossoms. This is my third year of poor squash results (sadly maybe my last). What could the problem be? Thank you!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Do you see any evidence that buds have developed and then they fall off? In squash and some other vegetables (peppers, tomatoes), plants will abort (drop) blossoms in very hot weather due to heat stress. That is one possibility.

Are your plants located in full sun, getting enough light?

We recommend side-dressing squash with a 10-10-10 fertilizer four weeks after blossoming begins, so you may want to try another application of general fertilizer. Too much nitrogen, however, can result in more leafy growth at the expense of blossoms. So, if you did apply the fertilizer within the past month, hold off on applying any more.

Have you always grown the same type of squash over the last three years? Have you tried planting different varieties? Do the plants look healthy otherwise? No damage to the leaves or stems?

It might be that the plants simply need more time. Keep them well watered during hot, dry periods.