Learning About Pollination with Vegetables {Garden Blog Hop}

There are some days I stop and realize what Amanda and I share on the phone may not be a typical conversation between two mom friends.  It's all good I promise but it's just interests me where our topics lead some days.  

This morning's Topic was: Male and Female Zucchini Flowers

This past week I was out in my garden after dropping my oldest off at school and noticed that my zucchini had blossomed!  I was so excited!  Then I quickly remembered that year after year I have issues with my squash not growing.  I keep trying to grow a garden with my kids and then reality sets in and things just don't grow.  

Can you tell from the images which is which?  

That's when I picked up the phone to have an interesting chat with Amanda.... oh to be in on this conversation, well actually I guess you will be because here's what she shared with me.  

There are female and male flowers with squash.  Did you know that?  I truthfully never thought about it before until she pointed it out for me. Once we started talking about it I did recall a few science classes in my youth but I guessed I had simple filed it away from lack of use.  FYI...The male flower has a long slender stem with pollen and the female flower has a short stem along with a miniature squash at the base of the flower.   

The male flower has pollen!  

Why on earth does it matter?  Well in case you've noticed there is a a shortage of pollinators in parts of the world, I happen to think my backyard might be a small region.  However there is a simple science solution to help those future squash along. 

 Become a Pollinator!  

Here I was out with my youngest daughter teaching her about flowers and pollen and noticing the differences in the flowers. We took at with our paintbrushes or Qtips and touched the male pollen and then touched the female blossom, stigma.  A little basic reproductive science at the plant level with kids.  

So there you have it, there are  male and female blossoms on zucchini plants and how to help your vegetables grow!  I thought perhaps you might want to know too, just in case you don't have a friend like Amanda to call and ask your gardening questions too.  

Guess what we discovered a few days later?  

A tiny zucchini that's actually growing.  If it had not been pollinated then it stops growing and just turns yellow then to mush.  Hopefully we can attract more pollinators to our garden this year through planting the right flowers but until then we will be "Assistant Pollinators" .   Here's more information below about Pollination and how to attract Pollinators to your garden.  

Amanda shared numerous tips last season about Zucchini's and I'm so glad she did so that I remembered to ask her about it this year on the phone.  Let's face it busy moms don't remember everything right? Here's her helpful post that she shared that includes a video about male and female flowers, a how to store zucchini and a delicious recipe too!  Now if I can only get her to help me with my cucumbers....coming soon I hope !  

"Eighty percent of all plants rely upon pollination for survival. But more astoundingly, for humans, one out of every three bites of food is made possible by pollination. Without pollination, say goodbye to cabbage and avocados, watermelons and coconut, and more tragically, strawberry shortcake, blueberry cobbler, apple pie, and chocolate anything. Hamburgers also can’t happen without the pollination of alfalfa to feed cattle. As it turns out, pollination hits all of us very close to home" 

Resources for Kids about Bees and Pollination 
What are you Planting in your Garden with Kids? 

We'd love for you to share what you are doing in your garden with kids.  Come join our Planting with Kids Blog Hop and check out even more great ideas from the participating blogs below!   

The Usual Mayhem Child Central Station


JDaniel4's Mom said...

We were just talking about pollination yesterday. Thank you for this wonderful post.

Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It said...

Thank you @JDaniel's Mom! We've been having a lot of fun discovering facts about pollination and seeing results of our efforts. Hopefully as the flowers grow we planted we'll see more pollinators in our yard.

Ticia said...

I love that you got to pollinate the flowers, that's so cool!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post on the Dig Into Gardening Link Up! I will be pinning it to my gardening Pinterest board.

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