Has my zucchini been fertilized?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by worldharmony, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. worldharmony

    worldharmony Active Member

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    I'm confused about zucchini. There were male flowers on the plant before the female flowers appeared, and male flowers are still there. I know that zucchini come from the female flower; I have one zucchini whose flower has fallen off, and another whose flower appears a bit withered. Does the zucchini appear BEFORE fertilization, then? If so, how do I know if the zucchini is fertilized and ready to pick?
     
  2. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    You can see the tiny zucchini before the flower is fertilized, but if it doesn't happen, it just doesn't grow. As long as the zucchini is growing, you can probably assume that it has been fertilized. Often as the beginning of the season, you will have female flowers and no male flowers, but as your plants get bigger you should have some of both so your female flowers will usually get fertilized okay. You can always help it along, by fertilizing the female flowers yourself. I used to use a soft paint brush, to pick up some of the pollen from the male flower and transferred it to the female flower. These days I usually don't bother.
     
  3. worldharmony

    worldharmony Active Member

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    Thank you so much for responding. I have included a picture of the zucchini. It is a bit longer now, and more "zucchini-like," and the flower is gone. Do you think it is "tiny" or do you think they are fertilized? Zucchini seem to grow quickly! Should I let it grow longer?
     

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  4. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    It's really hard to say at this point. You could measure it and then do it again in a couple of days. LOL Seriously though don't stress yourself out over it. You will soon have more zucchini than you know what to do with. :)

    If it doesn't get fertilized it will start to go brown at the flower end and go soft. I was just out in the garden and checking out my zucchini and couple of yellow ones obviously didn't get fertilized. :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  5. worldharmony

    worldharmony Active Member

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    Thank you! One did get fertilized but this one must not have:
     

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  6. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    That one definitely didn't get fertilized. I have a couple like that too. :( I am glad that one is growing. I have eaten a couple of mine this week, though they were quite small. I think I am going to have lots of zucchini this year.
     
  7. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Yes, JanR is perfectly right - you will be loaded with fruits in no time! I grew them one year and I was begging for people to take some off my hands!

    No need to hand pollinate them if they're outside, that's for sure. You will know which ones get pollinated and which ones don't. Just hope you know a few people that like zucchini!

    : O

    If you harvest the fruits when they're smaller they are more flavorful and tender. Mmmmmm - you are making me want some now.

    : )
     
  8. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Now, when you guys say 'fertilized' - do you mean 'pollinated'?

    : )
     
  9. worldharmony

    worldharmony Active Member

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    Well, I'm a newbie and all I know is, since no pollination= no fertilization, I can only tell if the flower has been pollinated after I get a successful (viable) zucchini. I was therefore wondering about the signs of fertilization so that I wouldn't pick an unfertilized baby zucchini.

    (Which makes me wonder, is there a difference in the taste, internal appearance or texture of an unfertilized zucchini?)
     
  10. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    You'll know - like Jan said.

    Even when I grew them for the first time, I knew because they instantly begin to grow bigger when the blossom has been successfully pollinated. There is no guessing. Mine would get a full 8 inches long within 3 or 4 days - that's how fast these suckers take off.

    If you're guessing and wondering, and thinking, 'is that fruit getting any bigger'? Chances are it hasn't been pollinated and forget about it. Many more will grow.

    : )
     
  11. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Oh um - I wouldn't suggest eating the zucchini embryo. It would be like eating an unripe tomato!

    : O
     
  12. worldharmony

    worldharmony Active Member

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    See, now, that's the thing that's interesting about zucchini. Unripe tomatoes are a known treat (not of my own liking, though- too tart), but is there any such thing as an embryonic tomato, equivalent to the embryonic zucchini? A zucchini looks ripe right from the get-go, just tiny. That makes me wonder if it might be bitter tasting (perhaps to ward off early predators). I don't plan to test this theory- ugh!
     
  13. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Well, why the heck not?!!!

    The only way to know for sure is to try them. It was your idea - so don't chicken out on us now! Go on - try 'em. Be sure to let us know if they are good.

    Maybe they'll be delicious, who knows...

    : )
     
  14. worldharmony

    worldharmony Active Member

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    I'm not gonna try it- YOU try it! (go, Mikey!)

    I just did a search on "embryonic plants" to make sure it won't poison me (ha ha) but all I found was an interesting article about a guy who develops micro-plants and embryonic plants for upscale chefs in Holland. It seemed they used the word "embryonic" to mean "immature" and "unripe" rather than unfertilized, though. I might taste one. If anything happens I'll donate my body to science.

    (Article is here: http://www.agoodnose.com/index.php?action=page&p=rob_baan )
     
  15. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    I doubt very much they'll poison you, but they just might not be too flavorful. I am not growing zucchini this year, or else I would try one. I wouldn't be a wuss - like some people!

    ; )

    Lol - just teasing, of course.

    So, you'll let us know then, how they taste? Even if it's from the hospital bedside? Maybe they'll just give you the runs, in which case we'll all understand, if we don't hear from you for a few days!!!

    : O

    Hahahaha.

    Good luck...

    : )
     
  16. worldharmony

    worldharmony Active Member

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    OK. But don't forget to send me flowers. They make sick people feel better.
     
  17. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Well, if there's one thing I've got - it's lots of flowers...

    : )
     

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  18. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Be sure to let us know how things go with your zucchini...

    : )
     
  19. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Contributor 10 Years

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    worldharmony, have a look at this link. (In Britain they are called courgettes but they are the same as Zucchini.) It shows the male and female flowers.If the female flowers are not pollinated/fertilised, then they will not grow and just drop off or rot, as your pic shows.
    The whole idea is to pick them when they are REALLY small. The smaller the better. In the supermarkets tiny ones about 2" long and slim, fetch a premium price. You will not be poisoned. They are very good raw in salads and not at all bitter.Just left on your plant, by the next day they will have grown even bigger. The whole point of growing you own is to pick them while really young and small. Relax and enjoy.

    http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?i...ages?q=courgette+male+flowers&hl=en&sa=N&um=1

    The flowers are also edible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini
     
  20. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Yup, it's true. That's why I stated earlier...

    : )

     

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