Thank you so much for your advice! I've never grown zucchini before. I've cut some flowers
from the other side of the yard to put next to the zukes in hopes of attracting some pollinaters. I've also cut off the affected leaves and am watching the others closely.
Thanks again, I really appreciate the help.
You can cut out the middleman (bees) by handpollinating the fruit yourself. To do this, remove a male flower
. (These are the ones on the long stalks.) Remove the petals and you will expose the stamen. This is where the pollen is heaviest. Wipe the stamen on the centre of the female flowers
. (These are the ones that have embryo fruit at the base of the flower
.) You will see the stigma in the centres. Just a single tap with the male flower
will do it. You can do a number of females with the one male flower
. Do this in the mid morning, it's when the plants are most receptive. It's actually quite fun to do so and watch the young fruit swell and grow. The same method will work for other cucurbits like pumpkin, squash and cucumbers too, so give it a try just for the knowledge.
I don't know much about the insect Danno suggested may be the problem, but i reckon if it was the case, you will see other effects as well as finding the actual critter, so keep an eye out. Don't go blowing away every bug you see though. Only a tiny percentage of insects are actually pests.
BTW, when you remove the petals from the male flowers
, have a taste. They're really good fresh but taste great deep fried:-) You can also use the stalks of zuchinni as a vegetable which are best steamed when young.. A little stringy if they are left too long.
Enjoy your zuchinnis:-)