Cross-Pollination in Squash Types

Views: 16354 | Last Update: 2009-04-29
Squash cross-pollinate within families but not across the board, so your efforts to isolate seeds are not in vain. Learn about saving squash heirloom seeds from an organic farmer in this free gardening video. View Video Transcript

About this Author

Daniel Botkin

Video Transcript

Okay, now we’re ready for something a little more complicated, the squash. Now, many people are intimidated by the idea of saving squash seed because they have a reputation of cross-pollinating with with all the squashes in the garden. But that's not really accurate. The squash will cross-pollinate within its family group. So this maxima will not cross-pollinate with this moschata. And this pepo will not cross-pollinate with this maxima and so on and so forth. And this Argyrus firma will not cross-pollinate with this maxima. So once you've learned your families, this being the best source of information to learn your squash families, you can begin to plant your squashes in groups. So this is a pink banana next year. We're not absolutely positive that this seed is pure because there are other pollen in our garden that might have cross-pollinated this fruit. However, this was off in a corner with a bunch of other pink bananas and for our purposes in the backyard garden, we might reasonably guess that these seeds will be adequately pure or partly pure. If not, we can always do a little test. We can grow some of these seeds to their first fruit, check what's coming. We can tell from the embryonic fruit whether we're getting a pink banana or some kind of a "scrumpkin" where the genetic dice got rolled and all kinds of qualities are coming out. Why don't you go ahead and open up that squash? This is a mature fruit. We always choose seed from the biggest, most mature fruit.