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Hand pollination

I have 2 courgette plants and 2 butternut squash. I’ve been hand pollinating the courgette with a small brush in case the bees are too lazy. Seems to be working well as we’ve had some good courgettes, but some fruit still die off.

The butternut squash is starting to flower so I’ll hand pollinate those too. Is it a problem to use the same brush and risk cross pollination? Will cross pollination affect this years crops or only the seeds for next year?

Also, is it better to pollinate from a different plant or is it ok to pollinate male to female flowers from the same plant?

Many thanks is advance.


  • Womble54Womble54 Posts: 348

    As you can see the courgette are getting to a decent size if left to get on with it. (Went on holiday for a week)
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,841
    Talk about land of the giants! 😂
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,919
    That’s not a courgette, that’s a marrow!😀
    I’ve never hand pollinated, there’s usually some insects flitting from one to another.
    i usually pick courgettes at about 6” long.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Hello Womble54, I am growing courgettes, patty pans and Honeyboat squash - how would I  know what is a male or a female flower? 
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,919
    Female has the fruit behind which is visible from when the flower opens. Look for a thin stalk with flower, that’s the male.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Ahhh thank you Lynn - I've just checked and can see the difference.  So... the male flowers just die off once flowered? 
  • Womble54Womble54 Posts: 348
    I’d love to grow patty pans. Do they climb well? I’ve not got a lot of space so anything that grows vertically is ideal.

    Yes the male flowers die off after they’ve opened. You can pick them once you’ve used them to pollinate then stuff them with cream cheese and fry in tempura batter. Yum!
  • Hello Wimbledon - Patty pans don't climb but I'm growing honeyboat squash for the first time this year and they are supposed to climb. I'm still waiting for some action from them  :s
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