These plants are all part of the Cucurbits family and all have problems when it comes to cross-pollination. This is because where most plants have flowers with male and female parts in one flower, these plants have separate male flowers and female flowers. Often the window for pollination is short and when there is an absence of pollinators, the window of opportunity is missed. Pollen must be carried from the male flower to a female flower.
Bees and other insects can be pollinators as well as the wind. Spraying insecticides in the morning or middle of the day can kill or chase off the bugs and bees that are so critical for your garden. Spray insecticides during the evening, after the bees have left for the day. This will give time for the insecticides to dry before they show back up. Also be sure that your garden is in a nice sunny location where there is good air circulation. This helps with cross-pollination as well as reducing the chance of diseases.
An absence of flowers in the area will keep bees away. Planting beneficial flowers will help keep the bees in the area. Plant flowering plants in your landscape or simply plant wildflowers near the garden area to encourage bees.
Male and female flowers look different. The female flowers are the ones that produce fruit and they will be the ones with a small fruit attached to the bottom of the flower. If you are having pollination problems, you can hand pollinate the plants by dabbing a small paint brush inside the male flower to collect its pollen and then dabbing it inside the female flower.
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