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A Little of This, A Little of That – 8/8

by Fern on August 8, 2010

in Frugal Container Gardening,Fruits & Vegetables,How To

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Container Gardening in the Blogosphere

Garden Q & A – Squash Flowers

A question I’ve gotten a couple of times in the past few weeks involve squash plants that seem to be producing a lot of flowers but no fruit. Rest assured that this is normal. Squash have both male and female flowers (as opposed to most flowers, that have both male and female parts in each flower). Squash produce male flowers first and then female flowers. It is not uncommon for the first few male flowers to show up before there are any female flowers to pollinate. Don’t worry if you see several flowers appear and then fall off, without any fruit. Eventually, female flowers will appear.

Container Gardening Ideas on Instructibles

  • Bottle Herb Garden – A creative way to grow vertically, using upcycled materials. Also, check out this post on the LOTB Facebook page. Readers shared ideas for how to tweak the setup to make it more attractive.
  • Bentwood Bird House – I love how modern this bird house looks, and while it seems like it would be pretty hard, the instructions don’t seem “out of reach.”
  • Easy, Cheap Plant Tags – Don’t throw out your spoon the next time you get takeout. Upcycle it into a reusable plant tag!
  • Planter from Pallets – I’m going to be trying this one. I’ve been rescuing pallets from my local grocery store’s trash bin. Stay tuned!
  • Drip Aid – This gardener repurposed an back-of-the-door shoe organizer into a vertical planter.
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany August 9, 2010 at 6:42 am

We finally have female flowers appearing on our squash plant, but they all turn brown, shrivel up, and die before they even open to be pollinated. I can’t figure out why this is happening, and it’s very frustrating because it feels like we’ve waited forever for female flowers. The male flowers are still blooming successfully and don’t seem to have any problems. Anyone have any thoughts?

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Kelly Brenner August 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

I love the idea of the container water garden and I’ve been looking into some various ideas, but what I’m wondering is about the weight. It seems a heavy container full of water is going to weigh a lot. I’m wondering what’s too heavy for a balcony.

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Sara August 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

Those squash blossoms are edible. Batter and fry them or stuff them with a mixture of ground meat and rice with a little tomato sause and cheese and then bake. YUM!

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Fern August 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

Sara–I’m a vegetarian, so I’ll have to take your word on the squash blossom recipe.

Andrea October 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm

It’s really easy to convert the recipe, use a little ground veggie meat or maybe even some seitan, that’s fun to make. One of these days I’ll try that when I have a garden again, lol. Maybe next spring. :)

Bob August 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Fern-
It’s funny you post this. I have a corner of my yard filled with volunteer squash, tomato, and cleome. My partner and I were confused that despite the fastidious attention of bumble bees, the blossoms just dropped off with no sign of fruit. After a few weeks of this, I started noticing the female flowers and put two-and-two together. Anyway, squash blossoms are fabulous for stuffing. We do a veggie version, filling them with a ricotta/spinach/spice mixture and then frying them.

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TC August 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

It’s common for southern folk to dip the flowers in a batter and fry them up, so that would work for your vegetarian diet me thinks. ;)

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Kimberly August 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I thought about blogging the container water garden. Lifehacker features it with some extra info about deterring mosquitos. But in this drought, I’d worry that it would evaporate too quickly and be a waste.

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Mary C. August 17, 2010 at 10:37 am

Another great bunch of links!

Additional Q on the squash flowers though…. I knew about the male/female flower thing before I planted but… How can the male flowers pollinate the female if they die first? Mine do not seem to ever have both at the same time, even between the two of them. I have only gotten 4 squash so far.

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Fern August 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Mary–The plant will often make a few male flowers first that will die before any female flowers appear. If you have four squash, they’ve obviously both been around at the same time. ;-)

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