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Poor Fruiting on Cucumber, Squash and other Vine Crops

Your plants look great, loaded with healthy leaves and flowers, but there is still no fruit.  This is a common complaint I hear from gardeners growing squash, cucumbers, and other vine crops.

Start by taking a closer look at the flowers.  The first set of flowers produced is all male flowers. The next set of flowers is a mix of male and female.  Look for the miniature fruit at the base of the female flower.  Now the male flowers have something to pollinate so the fruit can develop.  So be patient you will soon have plenty to harvest.

Next year you may want to try some of the newer plant introductions that have been bred to produce more female flowers earlier in the season. The Diva cucumber (new for 2002), produces all female flowers and does not need to be pollinated.  The cucumbers are tasty and lack the annoying large seeds.

A bit more information: Once your plants start producing you can further increase productivity with proper harvesting.  Pick scallopini summer squash when it is 3” in diameter and bar type 6 to 8 inches long.  The rinds will be thin, seeds small, and flavor the best.  And your plants will keep producing, giving you lots of squash for relish trays, stir fries, and all your favorite dishes.

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