|Fertilized zucchini (bottom) and unfertilized zucchini (top). Plants will drop unfertilized fruit, rather than wasting resources on their continued development.|
|Fertilized zucchini (bottom) and unfertilized zucchini (top). Note how the seeds are fully developed in the fertilized zucchini, and the lack of evidence of seed development in the unfertilized zucchini.|
To get around this issue, especially early on in the season, you can pollinate your own zucchini, squash, cucumber or melon blossoms. Last year, I shot a few videos with my cell phone to demonstrate. These videos were shot early in the morning, before coffee and enthusiasm had made their way into my body. Nonetheless, they might prove useful, if you're looking to pollinate your own cucurbits this year. The videos are split into three parts: (1) learning to distinguish male from female blossoms; (2) preparing a male blossom to pollinate, and (3) pollinating the female blossom.
Part 1: Learning to distinguish male from female blossoms.
Distinguishing male from female zucchini blossoms. from Gail Langellotto on Vimeo.
Part 2: Preparing a male blossom to pollinate.
Preparing the Male Flower to Pollinate from Gail Langellotto on Vimeo.
Part 3: Pollinating the female blossom.
Pollinating Zucchini by Hand from Gail Langellotto on Vimeo.