This year I only planted two zucchinis, down one from three last year. Overly ambitious or novice gardeners frequently plant beyond their household or neighborhood consumption level. Lesson learned.
I’ve never taken the time to understand the pollination of summer squash, though I’ve wondered about the flowers on the long, thin stem. So I was interested to read Barbara Pleasant’s blog post Mixing Up Summer Squash.
Her section Understanding Squash Sex begins—
Usually we don’t bring up pollination when discussing vegetable crops, but squash and other members of the cucumber family flaunt their sexual needs to their keepers, who may need to lend assistance in small plantings of fewer than four plants. Read more
So I’ll be giving my two zucchini plants a little help this summer.
Three large Geranium ‘Rozanne’ plants scramble about in a bed next to the edible garden. Bees frequent the plants all day which may help with pollination in the garden. See more images of the planting in early spring.
It’s happening for my Dorsett Golden apple tree now. I recall that it was May in our Massachusetts home orchard where we had a Baldwin apple and and two MacIntosh trees. They were prolific: applesauce, dried apples, apple pie slices, apple cider. We knew all the ways to preserve apples.
Pay close attention to garden relationships is a recent entry on the Renee’s Garden Seeds blog. I’m intrigued by the thought of purposeful insectaries in the garden. There seem to be good reasons to keep the feverfew, larkspur, poppies and verbena bonariensis that mingle with my vegetables. For a list of annuals and perennials that attract pollinators and beneficial insects click here.
Wind poppy photo by Susan Bell. Purple coneflower, from our visit yesterday to the Denver Botanic Garden.