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Jul 01 2015

Saving squash seeds

Squash cross pollinate readily with other squashes of the same variety. They are insect pollinated so the insects are flying quite long distances. First thing is to know which variety of squash you are growing and what it will cross with.

You will also need to know what your neighbours are growing!

Next step is to identify the male and female flowers.

female squash flower

Female squash flower with little bulge of future squash. This one is pegged to keep away the pollinators.

male squash flower

Male flower -straight stem, no bulge.

Close the female flower with peg or bag. Wait till you have a male and female flower open at the same time.

Cut off the male flower and put it onto the female so the anthers meet the stamens.

Male and female squash fowers

Or you can isolate the anthers….

 

 

male anthers

Then apply the pollen from the anthers to the stamens.

Male plus female squashOnce this is done you must close the female flower again, either with a peg or a muslin bag so she cannot be crossed.

female squash flower in bag

When the flower withers you can remove the bag but mark this squash with a coloured ribbon so you can be sure to identify it as the one you hand pollinated.

 

 

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