Cross pollination among questions

Chesapeake, VA

My father-in-law has said that zucchini and summer squash will cross polinate to create a combo veggie squashchini (well he didn't really call it that, but it sounds funny lol ). Anyhow, I am planting squash and zucchini as well as some iceboxwatermelons, smaller variety of melons (canteloupe and honeydew), 3 different varieties of pumpkins and 2 different cucumbers. Do I need to place the different varieties of each type in opposite areas of the garden? I had planned to have one section for watermelon and canteloupes, one section for cucs, and the pumpkins I am going to plant among my corn and other veggies for weed control since my space is limited and they grow like mad!

Anyone have experience with this or have knowledge on how I should plant these fruits and veggies?

Thanks so much in advance. I have to go out for a bit, but will check back later. :)

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Unless you are saving seeds for next year, I don't think you need to worry. I've done some checking on this, and there are some good articles on the web. They seem to indicate that this years crop will be "normal" but next years might be bizarre. I'm guessing that the squashes would cross with the squashes, the watermelons with the other melons, and cukes with cukes. This is very simplistic, and I hope Farmerdill or someone else who has a clue will clarify this:)
Margo

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

That is basicly it. No need to worry unless you are savings seeds. If you are saving seeds, most squash and pumpkins will cross with each other. Cantaloupe will cross with each other and Armenian cukes. Regular cukes only cross among themselves. Ditto with watermelons

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks Farmerdill :)

hmmmm. Maybe I'll save some seeds. I spent quite a while today trying to figure out what vine was what. In one spot I have Sweet Dumpling, Butternut, and Spaghetti squashes all tangled up with a Connecticut Field Pumpkin. The Butternut and the Spaghetti look as if the are together on the same vine, and the Sweet Dumplings and the little pumpkins are within a foot. Might be fun to grow them out, could any crosses be harmful, or just atrocious tasting?
Margo

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Sweet Dumpling, Spaghetti, and Connecticut field pumpkins will cross, They will also cross with your summer squash ( like crooknecks, zucchini, and scallops. Butternuts are a different species. None of the crosses will be harmful, but may not be good eating, especially the winter squash-summer squash crosses.

Chesapeake, VA

Sorry I didn't make it back on yesterday. Thank you so much for your help. I didn't think it would be a problem b/c I have seen people with very small plots grow summer squash and zucchini in close proximity and they produced their normal fruit. My father-in-law is very helpful at times, but he is the most stubborn man when it comes to trying something new (Even if his way is not working). I guess I will be set in my ways too when I get old, but sometimes it frustrates me. Example:

Every year at least half the tomatoes produced by his plants have blossom rot. I worked in the college library at the time as an intern and found an enormous amount of literature they were throwing out pertaining to tomatoes and other vegetables. One of the articles said to mulch the plants. I told him this and offered the literature to read. He didn't want to read it. He insisted that the plants would get diseases from the mulch. That was ten years ago. Every year he does the same thing he did the year before, and every year he and my mother-in-law complain about the blossom rot on their tomatoes. Their philosophy applies to any and everything including medical issues. Sorry I got way off on a tangent.(guess I needed to vent) BTW, they live next door/in front of us, so I deal with this sort of thing daily. I know they are going to die off when I begin mulching my garden in the next few days. :)

Thank you again!! Now I guess I need to think about saving seed for next year, hmmm . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Greentown, IN(Zone 5a)

Sorry if once again I'm heisting someone else's thread, but I DO have a question on this topic. Several days ago we noticed an odd shaped zucchini forming on our plant nearest the yellow crookneck squash plant in the garden. At the time I assumed it was just an oddity and thought no more about it. However, since then, I've begun to realize that it looks just like a green zucchini with the shape of a yellow crookneck squash! All the other zucchini have formed very straight except this one. I believe we may indeed have a "squashchini" on our hands!!! Is this possible for them to cross-pollinate, and if so, would this be a likely result?

Thanks, everyone.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

They do cross polinate, but it does not affect the first year crop. I f you save the seeds and plant, then you will have mixed squash. If you used fresh, pure seeds than your crooked zuchinni is just an abberation. They will sometimes grow misshapen for various reasons including incomplete pollination, physical damage, etc. I plant multiple zuchinni, crooknecks and scallops in the same patch with no problems.

Greentown, IN(Zone 5a)

Thanks again, Farmerdill! This is the first year for the garden, and so we did use true zucchini seeds. I have to say I'm a little disappointed that it's not a "squashcini. I was looking forward to cutting it open and trying it! Oh well...I guess I'll just save some seeds if I want to turn out some unusual vegetables!

Thanks and enjoy your summer harvest!

Warrenville, IL

I wonder if someone could clarify something for me: It has always been my understanding that cross-pollination between different species (as mentioned above in this thread) has no effect on the fruit but does affect the seed. That is confirmed in a couple responses above. However, the following quote from above throws me off a bit...

"None of the crosses will be harmful, but may not be good eating, especially the winter squash-summer squash crosses."

Farmerdill, are you saying that the fruit produced by the cross-pollination can affect the taste of the fruit that year or are you saying that it can affect the taste of fruit produced the next year if the seed produced from the cross-pollination is is planted the next year?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Next year. and cross pollination rarely occurs between species. Summer squash (zucchini, scallops, crooknecks , straight necks ) are all C. pepo as are many winter squash and pumpkins. The C. moschata group ( butternuts, some other winter squash and pumpkins) don't normally cross with C. pepo.

Wayne, NJ

We actually manually pollinated a zucchini plant with pollen from a pumpkin plant by accident. We thought the zucchini plant was a pumpkin plant. We are getting 4 zucchini now but they are all yellow instead of green. So we indead have a zucchinikin. Any idea if that will be edible or if we should just use it a decoration? We will not be saving any seed from this plant.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

You probably had a yellow zuke to start with. Many pumpkins will cross with zucchini and pumpkinis are common, but it only occurs in the second generation . There are dozens of cultivars of yellow zucchinis.

Delhi, LA

Farmerdill a question for you, watermelon and cantalope cross? If not can a seed from an Ambrosia cantalope revert to what it was bred from? Got a volunteer in my compost pile that has huge cantalope looking melons. It could only have come from a rotten cantalope or two I threw on the pile last year. These jokers already measure 9 inchs in diameter and are still green and growing. That is much bigger than the original cantalopes were.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Ambrosia is a hybrid introduced by Burpee in 1975. I have no idea of its parentage, but second generation will throw some different melons. Cantaloupes and watermelons do not cross.

Delhi, LA

Thanks Farmerdill, I was thinking that this thing had reverted back to something else because it was so much larger that the mother cantalope it had to have come from. I'm going to let them ripen and see what it tastes like. I suspect the taste is not going to be very good. We'll see.

Philadelphia, MS

This is in response to lookinforoz. The problem that you have with your father-in- law is the exactly the same problem that I had with my father. My dad was a hard headed fellow who did not listen to anything I said. He threw out a multitude of tomatoes because they had rotten spots. I was the bookish child who told him that his problem was called blossom end rot and was caused by a lack of calcium in the dirt. So the next time I saw him throwing a rotten tomato away I asked why his tomatoes had rotten spots, and he responded that the soil was diseased. I have now inherited access to his "diseased soil", and have ammended the dirt with all kinds of mulches and bone meal which takes away the calcium deficiency and adds phosphorous for the watermelons and tomatoes.

However, this last year I told my mother that I was going to grow watermelons. and she responded, "Your father never could grow watermelons on that land." Then I got on the intermnet and learned all I could about watermelons to see what else my hard headed father was doing wrong besides not using bone meal or some other calcium adding ammendment. I learned that his biggest problem was the clay bed. So I dug a trench with my shovel and filled it with rabbit manure that a nice lady let me have if I cleaned out all of her rabbit hutches. Of course I added lots of bone meal and spared no expense there either. Now I have Sugar Babies that have almost reached their peak and are beginning to show signs of growing all that they are going to grow. However, they are still growing strong. They are planted next to some Desert King (yellow) watermelons which are just beginning to produce the largest prettiest watermelons that I have ever grown. I have eaten one, saved the seeds, and already planted a few as I hope that these vines will produce watermelons quickly as the Sugar Babies and make a few by October if we have a late ending warm Mississippi growing season as we sometimes do. I only came to this thread hoping that someone could tell me what to expect if I planted some Desert Kings next to Sugar Babies and saved the seeds as I have. Does anyone know what the outcome might be like?

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

My guess would be that it could be like either parent, or somewhere between them both. If either of those varieties is a hybrid, than there is no telling what will result.
Since they're both watermelons, I'd be hugely tempted to try.....:)

Bark River (UP), MI(Zone 4b)

Farmerdill, one more question if you can stand it --

Many people say that growing hot peppers and bell or other sweet peppers together will result in the sweet peppers (that growing year) being hot. I've never had this happen myself, although I always grow both, but could the seeds from the cross possibly be hot? (But then, who eats the seeds from a bell pepper?)

Sandy

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Yes it is possible that the seeds which will be the next generation could be hot.

Bark River (UP), MI(Zone 4b)

Thanks -- that was my suspicion!

Lawrence, KS

Hmmmm.....Thought I had a spaghetternut squash on my hands...it must be my imagination since this is their first year. My most recent butternut squash have been showing up with stripes which I don't remember on the first few, but which I did notice on the spaghetti squash. I suppose I should pay closer attention. :)

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I KNOW that this is not supposed to happen, had a big argument with my exMIL. I have a degree in Biology and she couldnt stand that I contradict her in anyway. BUT I have seen zuke x yellow croakneck squash on the same vine as normal fruits. I understand that this shouldnt/cant happen but the fruit was definately not normal. I cant explain it but Ive had it happen.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Yellow crooknecks will be green when infected with mosaic. only possibility I can think of for any resemblance.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

I'm pretty sure zukes and crooknecks can cross, both being C. pepo. So if the plants you saw, Lisa, came from seeds of crossed plants I'm sure you'd see some variants and quite possibly on the same plant. Right?

Shoe

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Shoe-Yes, that could have been it. It was in my neighbor's garden, a few years back. I remember being under the impression that these were store bought seeds and that these weird looking fruit were a direct result of X pollination, at that time. I dont know...

I have also been told that hot and sweet peppers dont "show" the X until the seeds are grown out. But I can say that Ive been caught off guard by some very hot, sweet peppers.
However, I now realize it must have been the seeds (next generation) that made those sweet peppers so dang hot.

Fruitland, ID

Hi, I've been reading the info concerning cross pollination of squash. I have a spaghetti squash plant that I planted next to my zucchini squash plant. Interesting that some on the forum are saying that a cross pollination of the two plants wont affect that years fruit. I have three normal looking Spaghetti squash on the vine and on spaghetti squash on the exact same vine that has the same markings as the zucchini squash it is green with speckles and really looks like a cross between the two it is the same exact shape as the other spaghetti squash. So how is that possible if it wont affect this years fruit? there has never been a garden planted at any other time in the area I made my garden this year. Can anyone explain this?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I was reading recently that if plants/vegetables are the same species, they will cross-pollinate, otherwise they will not.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Bee-Yes they will X but this should not be evident until the seeds of the cross are grown out.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I had the same thoughts (thread "a spaghetti squash of a different color") but the suspect squash grew up to be quite normal :). Looked and tasted just like the others from the same planting once it matured. If it's just an odd fruit on a vine with normal fellows, I'd just think it's a mutation. I'd probably save seeds from it just to see, but then, I sometimes have too much time on my hands...

One thing to consider, is whether it's possible that the seeds had come from a place with possible cross-pollination. I'm betting this is possible more often than we might think, even in big operations. Unless everything is grown in a flow controlled greehouse, or every flower hand pollinated and bagged, I'll bet accidents happen :)

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

"I only came to this thread hoping that someone could tell me what to expect if I planted some Desert Kings next to Sugar Babies and saved the seeds as I have. Does anyone know what the outcome might be like?" - JAnnetteW
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Yes. If those two watermelon varieties cross, and if you save seeds, then the plants and melons grown from those seeds will be F1 (first generation) hybrids. There will be two dominant genes or a dominant gene and a recessive gene in each pairing for each characteristic, and dominant characteristics will always display in that generation.

That is, if one of your melon varieties is yellow inside and the other is red inside, and if red is dominant over yellow (red is dominant in tomatoes, anyway), then all your F1 hybrid melons would be red inside. In fact, all your F1 melon plants and melons would be identical in every way to each other, with dominant genes, uh, dominating in every pairing.

But if you save and plant seeds from those F1 hybrids, then the next (F2) generation would be unstable. Some recessive genes could pair up, and different plants could display different characteristics in unpredictable ways. Sometimes new and desirable qualities arise in this way, and when that happens seeds are saved and planted from successive generations until those qualities stabilize. That's how new OP vegetable varieties are created.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

But doesn't that assume that at least one parent has two dominant genes? Isn't it possible to have two varieties that each have both a dominant and a recessive? Which would give you possibilities that don't resemble either parent? I know when I've crossed tomatoes that F1 isn't always identical, but then, I've never been very scientific about it...

I have gotten some very odd F1 squashes (and I don't know which of my squash varieties contirbuted genetic material), but have yet to carry it any farther, conditions this year were not helpful :(.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Ah, Mendel's Experiment #1. It reminds me of high school biology class about 1963 with the teacher droning on endlessly and me thinking more about that cute girl in the front row than about my work. Hmmm - what the heck was her name, anyway? LOL

You're right. That simple example (having to do with the shape of peas) assumes that one parent carries two dominant genes (SS) for that trait and the other parent carries two recessive genes (ss) for the same trait. In that case, the F1 hybrids would all have the (Ss) pairing and would all exhibit the dominant trait (round peas). However, since the F1 hybrids all CARRY the recessive (s) gene, the F2 generation would be of four (really three) different kinds - (SS), (Ss), (sS), and (ss). Three because (Ss) and (sS) are the same. In that generation, 3 of 4 plants would grow peas that are round, and only (ss) plants would grow wrinkled peas as there would be no dominant (S) gene present in those.

Now, if both parents carried only the recessive (ss) pairing then the F1 generation and all the ones after would bear wrinkled peas, since no dominant (S) was ever present. What I'm unsure about (should have paid more attention in that class) is how that works if the original parent combination is (Ss)(ss) or (Ss)(Ss). I know that F1 hybrids are supposed to be identical to each other, always, with all the dominant genes that are present in either parent displaying in each characteristic.

That's how it's worked for me. I made a "wide cross" of two very dissimilar tomato varieties in 2009. Last year I grew F1 hybrids from the crossed seeds and the hybrids were all identical to each other. The hybrids displayed all the dominant traits in size, shape, foliage, color, everything. This year I grew F2 plants from seeds saved from the F1's and they're all over the place, as they should be. I've got red hearts, pink hearts, gold semi-hearts, red semi-hearts, pink oblates, thick foliage, wispy foliage - all grown from the same seeds. Lots of variation, and I'm selecting for superior flavor to carry, it looks like, 3 strains to the next generation. Fascinating stuff, I think!

Glassboro, NJ

I'm just curious, aren't any of you concerned about Cross-Pollination with Monsanto Round-Up Ready, GMO Crop's...???

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Not really a current issue around here, but yes, I find it very unsettling, in many ways. This thread is more about accidental (probably harmless) garden variety cross-pollination resulting in, um, interesting progeny :)

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Well, IF there's a problem with that (and I'm not going to get into such a political issue here) - the issue is that the growing of Round-Up resistant crops is causing a lot more Round-Up to be used in commercial farming. Any problems associated with that would come from possible over-use of glyphosate herbicides, not the existence of food-plant strains that can tolerate those herbicides.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

MrPappyG - fortunately I live in a neighborhood far from where (hopefully) GMO crops are grown. I do, however, fear that I might inadvertently purchase GMO seeds without the information being given before hand.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

The only possibility at present of round up ready crossing in vegetables is sweet corn crossing with field corn or edible soybeans (edamame) crossing with field soybeans. Of course Syngenta has Bt sweet corn on the market, the only GMO presently available in vegetables. Not much danger at present of getting a GMO vegetable seed. Syngenta will only sell to commercial growers and there is considerable paper work.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I was just going to add what Farmerdill said. The veggies we are discussing here arent available as GMOs (corn and soybeans are to commercial growers) and you cant just buy GMO seeds off the self. Although you can buy food off the shelf that is made from GMOs. So unless you live somewhere where there are huge commercial growers your chances are slim to none of your veggies getting X with GMOS and that would only be an issue if you were growing corn or soybeans.

I love this thread about "Who's your Daddy?"LOL I hope it doesnt go in the direction of misinformation.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

"So unless you live somewhere where there are huge commercial growers your chances are slim to none of your veggies getting X with GMOS and that would only be an issue if you were growing corn or soybeans."
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AND, if the slim chance happened (getting your garden corn crossed with GMO corn), it wouldn't make any difference unless you saved seeds and planted them. In that case, the corn of that next generation would be resistant to herbicide - not a big deal, I think. Anyway, I doubt many people save their own corn seeds as most varieties are hybrids.

I'm not going to stick up for Monsanto and big farming corporations, though, when it comes to wholesale spraying of Round-Up because their GMO crops are resistant and that's the cheapest way to control weeds. I don't have the expertise to know, but instinct tells me that practice probably isn't good and somebody who's qualified needs to figure it out for sure.

At the very least, I betcha they're going to cause a bunch of weeds to become Round-Up resistant in time. Nature has a way of getting around adversity, you know.

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