This time of year the squash is blooming away, but what if that’s all you get? What if all you see on the plant are blooms? The plant is perfectly healthy with no signs of any issues but still isn’t setting fruit. If you have blooms but no squash the answer may be as simple as the flowers on the plant!
Why Might Your Squash Plants Not Have Female Flowers Yet?
Squash blossoms are either male or female. Often what blooms first are the male flowers. The female flowers typically form later. The female flowers have oval like shapes beneath the flower on the stem. These shapes are the ovaries and what eventually turns into the squash. It makes sense when you think about it. The male flowers produce first to make sure pollen is available then the female flowers form. Sometimes though you can get a ton of male flowers with no female flowers.
How do you Encourage Female Flowers On a Plant?
You really can’t specifically target female flowers but you can pinch off most of the male flowers. By removing the male flowers you force the plant to make more flowers which increases your odds of getting female flowers. The male flowers you remove can be eaten in a salad or stuffed and fried up, indeed they are edible!
The answer is to be patient. Generally squash plants will start to form the female flowers after the male flowers. I would advise you to plant at least two plants each time you plant squash, maybe more which will increase your odds and give you better production. Also plant successively so in the event you have an outbreak of vine borers you have a backup crop coming.
Eventually you may end up with more squash than you really want!