View Full Version : Zucchini troubles

08-28-2010, 03:16 PM
I have been gardening for years. Easy stuff mostly but find that since I have moved to my new Michigan home I can not get zucchini to grow! I have had zuccs for years and they usually overpower the need. I have sandy, well drained soil that we are amending more each year. Everything else is growing well including yellow squash! It isn't great but we are getting some. The zuccs are healthy plants with lots of male flowers and I have seen starts of the female flowers with the tiny zucc. These female flowers are not opening up! I have never found a mature one, only the very tiny buds. And not one single zucchini! Is it my soil? Does it hate acid soil? We have lots of oaks and pines and even put oak leaves on the garden in the winter. We have bees and there is a sprinkler system. I thought maybe the water was clumping the pollen but the yellow squash is making it as well as cucumbers and tomatoes. The female flower just never gets to a stage that I can even self pollinate them. Any help is appreciated. This is the second year of no zucchini. I am very frustrated and can not seem to find anything on line about this issue.

08-29-2010, 03:20 AM
You sound like you know a lot about growing zucchini and that you sometimes have to pollinate them yourself and such. I'm going to ask a basic question here. Have you had any problems with squash vine borers? Twice this year I've lost all my plants to them after much growth, flower output and onset of fruit developing. Those things are a PITA in the south where I live and are almost impossible to eradicate without a lot of chemicals to control them.

09-01-2010, 12:23 PM
I had an old friend who had this problem here in the UK, he tried two approaches - one was to manually open in immature flowers and prod around inside with a artists brush - this didn't work for him but I guess it depends on how immature your flowers are.

The thing that he told me worked for him was to go around the local allottment (communal area split into seperate rented plots) until he saw healthy corgettes (Zuchini) and he then asked permission to collect from female flowers and pollinate own with this.

I have to say that this is second hand info as the old biy is dead now, but hopefully his knowledge and experience can still help you.


09-01-2010, 01:32 PM
Try neem oil for the borers.

I know in my part of michigan we're in a drought, a plant is going to be less likely to set fruit during a drought, but yes, pollinating by hand would help.

09-04-2010, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the tips but I do not think we have the borers. We ran into that once before and I remember what it looked like. The plants died from the stem up. These plants are very healthy looking. They get daily early morning watering from an irrigation system. The only thing I can see wrong is that the female flowers do not even come close to opening. They stay very tiny and then disappear completely. They are not mature enough to open by hand. I feel like it has to be a soil thing. We do have many oaks and pines here,. The soil is acidic. If they don't like that it could be an issue. The male flowers seem fine. We even got a few yellow squash to grow. I can't find anything that says if there is a soil preference. Zucchini tend to do well in everything except my garden!

03-04-2011, 11:56 AM
Have you tested your soil?
proper Ph for zukes is 6.0 to 7.5
Look for "fraz" around the base of the vines, if you find that, you do have SVB's..

Watering overhead, rainy spells, and over watering can, and will "clump" your pollen, However, you say that the blossoms don't open enough to hand pollinate, so I would think that in itself would shelter the pollen, thus protecting it from the water/rain