squash blossoms

Asked August 15, 2018, 2:38 AM EDT

Will high temperatures like we've been having cause squash and melon plants to make only male blossoms? I usually see female blossoms only a few days after the male blooms appear but this year it's been weeks without females. Too late for this year but is there something I can do next year? Peggy

Linn County Oregon fruits and vegetables horticulture

3 Responses

Yes, that could well be a factor. We are getting females and squash here in Lane Co. pretty reliably now. I presume you have been checking the blossoms for sex. The second big factor is pollinators, but then you would see baby squash that don't fill out. if you allow the soil that your squash is planted in to get too dry, you will have an over-abundance of male flowers!. Our squash are slow starting this year, but we have high hope of zucchini boats.

Thank you, Pat for your good answer. I had not known water stress could produce male-only blossoms. I have seen some of that too. I have also learned of other heat-related problems e.g. blossom drop in beans and those hard white inclusions in tomatoes. An article on the subject would be helpful in the view of our changing weather if it was easy to find, that is. Navigating the Extension site and finding the information I want is often frustrating. That's not your responsibility but maybe you can pass the word on.

Peggy

Well, I have to agree that finding the right information can be difficult. By the way, the white inclusions are usually stinkbug damage, but white hard areas on the skin, esp. on the top which are then harder underneath are usually sunburn, often caused by pruning. Tomato fruits ripen best in the shade of the leaves. Weird, huh?
At least you know you are not alone as these have been frequent complaints among our gardeners. Thank you for your response. Blossom drop is always disappointing!