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Cucurbit Cross-Pollination

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by Sorellina on January 26, 2005 12:29 AM
Ciao garden gurus,

I always thought you needed to plant your different squash varieties apart from each other to avoid cross-pollination, but then I saw a seed packet from which combines different-coloured pattypan squashes:

So like what's the deal, man? Can I do this with black beauty and gold rush zucchini? The buggers take up so much space, it would be oh so cool to combine them into one "hill".

Thanks for any wisdom on this,


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by Longy on January 26, 2005 04:48 PM
G'day Julianna,
i believe that zuchinni can cross pollinate. Is that a problem though? You could do the pollination yourself and you'd get a better chance of staying true to type but if there were a few that cross pollinated i'm sure they'd still be OK it's just that the seeds from them would be a lottery.
I grow different types of pumpkin and try and keep them apart but occassionally i'll get some weird cross breed. I still eat them though and there is one which i think is a Queensland blue crossed with a Jarrahdale. I plant the seed from it each year as it's just bulletproof and i get heaps of fruit that keep for 12 months and are great for eating.
by Sorellina on January 26, 2005 05:17 PM
Ciao Longy,

Thanks for responding. I did a little search-o-rama this morning and what I found was this. Kinda what you said, if I save seeds from cucurbits (or tomatoes and peppers for that matter), it's anyone's guess what I'll get the following season. The good news is that the fruit won't be affected during the current growing season. The reason is that because cucurbits have male and female flowers, the fruit only come from mama, but the seeds themselves will be affected for the following year's planting. This is kind of a bummer in that I was hoping to save seeds this year for next year, but I don't have the space to do serious segregation. It's not horrible, though, as I only need a few seeds for each year's planting. It's not like growing some herbs where you need a zillion seeds just for a decent-sized basil hedge. So that's the deal..I can still have a monstrous number of tomato varieties, but I'll have to get seeds each year. Now if I could only find a source that would be willing to sell me 10 seeds per variety, I would be in tomato heaven !

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