cross-pollinating squash


I was intending to grow up at least three different types of squash this spring but I have read that they are likely to cross pollinate. what exactly does this mean in terms of the fruit, will my squash end up as a mix of varieties?

Posted by: Susan Davis (1 point) Susan Davis
Posted: March 3, 2013


Hi Susan,

They are likely to cross pollinate, but you will not see the effects of this in the fruit that your plants produce this coming season - they will grow as they are described for each variety. The new genetic material of a different variety will be incorporated into the offspring (seeds) within the fruit. If you were to save and plant these seeds the following year, you would wind up with a different type of fruit than either of the parents. This has happened to me a few times when I let "volunteer" squash plants grow from seeds that were left in the garden due to rotting fruits from the last crop. I end up with very interesting combinations, but usually they do not taste as good as their parents.

Posted by: Kerry Mauck (58 points) Kerry Mauck
Posted: March 3, 2013

Susan Davis commented,
thanks Kerry, that is very good to know. I had not planned to collect any seed for next year, I will just start again. Very useful to know.
over 7 years ago.

The fruit get their shape, color, and flavor from the mother plant. Cross-pollination only becomes a problem if you save seed, as the genetics of the seeds could be mixed.

Posted by: Charlie B. (2 points) Charlie B.
Posted: March 7, 2013

Try plant them a ways apart, especially if you're in a windy area. Also, stagger their planting time so they each begin to flower at different times (so other pollen is not around when they're flowering).

Posted by: Cornelis (1 point) Cornelis
Posted: April 11, 2013

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