squash issues

Asked March 19, 2020, 9:54 PM EDT

Hi, We have had issues with vegetable production in our garden over the last 2 summers. Specifically, butternut squash and zucchini are the main problem. We sow some seeds directly in the ground while others are sown in containers on our deck. The squash plants grow and produce flowers but they mostly do not fruit. Before we plan our garden this spring, can you help us determine what is going on and advise on what we can do to get a good yield? Thank you.

Montgomery County Maryland

2 Responses

This sounds like a problem with pollination. This page explains it: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/pollination-problems-vegetables

Two years ago we had abnormally wet weather, and insects are not as active when it is raining or cool. But last year was dry, so that may point to lack of pollinators because of pesticides or lack of food sources.

Other than avoiding pesticides, you can encourage pollinators by planting flowers to draw them to your garden all summer. Here's some good tips: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/what-can-i-do-help-pollinators

Some gardeners, such as on a balcony in the city, will use a paintbrush and act the part of the bee themselves.

Ellen

This sounds like a problem with pollination. This page explains it: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/pollination-problems-vegetables

Two years ago we had abnormally wet weather, and insects are not as active when it is raining or cool. But last year was dry, so that may point to lack of pollinators because of pesticides or lack of food sources.

Other than avoiding pesticides, you can encourage pollinators by planting flowers to draw them to your garden all summer. Here's some good tips: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/what-can-i-do-help-pollinators

Some gardeners, such as on a balcony in the city, will use a paintbrush and act the part of the bee themselves.

Ellen