Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cross-Pollination in Squashes

One of the varieties of vegetables that easily cross-pollinates, is the pumpkin and squash family. If you have planted several varieties close together in one patch, you will probably find that it does not always resemble what you saw on the seed packet! This photo is a good example of one of my later butternut squash. The first squash I picked earlier in the Summer was a wonderful butternut beige colour. This had obviously been pollinated by male flowers on the same plant. This one pictured is from the same plant, but you can see the stripey markings indicating to me that the insect which pollinated this female flower may have hopped over from ... perhaps a nearby courgette flower. I will await to find out if the flesh is orange or white!

9 Comments:

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Rhonda Gay said...

Oh Matron I did this accidently with a vegetable spaghetti and another Squash. I let it grow but it tasted awful. I have a pic of it somewhere I will post it on my Blog when I fid it.

 
At 3:05 AM, Blogger steven said...

I planted seeds from a Hubbard Squash I bought at the market and I ended up with many variations in colour and shape in the resulting fruit. The pulp remained the same and it was all delicious.

 
At 3:13 AM, Blogger Polly said...

Hello matron, I've enjoyed paying you a visit for the first time this morning.

My mother remembers my grandfather who came to Australia from Leicester in 1912 talking about his allotment "back home". As well as keeping his family in vegetables he used to grow flowers to sell.

I'll be back to see what else your summer garden produces.

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Patrick said...

That's a really neat looking cross. I hope it tastes good. Sometimes you get lucky with crosses, and sometimes not...

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger primrozie said...

Oh I hate when that happens. I even separated mine by as great a distance as possible (in my small space it was about 20 feet)and they still crossed. I'm working on a plan to grow them at different times.

We also have squash bug infestations to deal with in the fall. I'm considering growing them under cover and I can use a cotton swab for pollinating.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger MissHathorn said...

My understanding is that squash will not cross pollinate between species. So it is unlikely that your courgette (cucurbita pepo) will cross with your butternut (cucurbita moschata). Pollen can be transferred over a few miles by insects but the cross won't show up until the second generation. So if you sowed seed from a packet then it should normally do what it says on the label. Sometimes the first fruit on the vine is anomalous. This fruit looks unripe to me, it may well tan in storage but, for what it's worth, I would have left it on the vine longer.

 
At 7:19 PM, Blogger Matron said...

I was debating whether to leave it longer! The first butternut was exactly right and really delicious, this was the 2nd one on the same vine. Perhaps like baby animals.. it has stripes and spots when it is young! Many thanks for your comment.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

Well I have not commented for a while , wow so many new readers and i notice through my bloglines you have 5 subscribers through there.

My wormery compost was turned out the other day to feed the new front garden that is mainly sandy and like last year it has seeded itself and I now have 8 butter nut squash plants again that I have been guerilla gardening with just don't tell the people who look after the barren and sparse roundabout's that needed some foliage on them.

I saved some for my self and planted some out next to my new cherry tree and dwarf beans.

TTFN

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Carl said...

I've got very similar butternuts growing in my compost bin. They haven't turned that nice beige colour but they are huge. I am baking one at the moment which weighed in at 7Kg - I kid you not. The flesh is the right colour and it tastes just right. I bought the seeds at Wilko and they where 'winter' butternut F1.

 

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