Help with zucchini.

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

My little boy pulled the flowers off of the zucchinis that were growing (he loves to pick all of my flowers after watching me dead head them lol) and now they're turning yellow and stopped growing.
Do they need the flowers to grow? Should I just cut them off?

Also, my tomatoes (roma) haven't grown at all since a week after I transplanted them. Could it be because the soil I used isn't one that drains easily? I should have added some perlite or vermiculite to it or something but forgot. lol

The pictures are in the order opposite of what I want it to be.

Thumbnail by robertsonj88 Thumbnail by robertsonj88 Thumbnail by robertsonj88
Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I think they need the flowers to a certain point. But you can eat the small zucchinis that aren't completely yellow. The plants should set new flowers.

What variety are you growing of tomatoes? Did you add fertilizer to the soil? You can still put some perlite in, just very carefully when digging around the plant. You have a lot of tomatoes on the one plant. What are you using for your "soil". You should be using a good potting mix, not a soil, to have satisfactory results. If you are using a potting mix, then try the perlite and make sure you feed (but not too much nitrogen - a food with a higher number in the middle - that's the phosphorus tomatoes need) and water the plants consistently. That should help.

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

I'm growing roma tomatoes. They planted in a triple mix, the brand is Premier. It has compost, humus, and peat moss. The people I work with INSISTED that it'd be good to plant tomatoes in and I have zero luck growing tomatoes, even when I had an actual in ground garden so I just listened to them. lol The one with all of the tomatoes on it is barely 7" tall. They aren't consistently watered because it's been raining here so much.

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Premier is an excellent brand as long as you planted in the "mix" not the soil. The "mix" should have had adequate perlite in it. But even with the mix I always add fertilizer. You need something with a higher number in the middleHow long ago did you put in the plants?

I just googled Premier Triple Mix and what I found says it is a soil not a mix. It is for outdoor planting, not container. I use Premier Pro-Mix BX/Mycorise Pro and it works great. I think that is your problem - the soil may have compacted too much. Try gently loosening it around the roots. If the plants aren't that big they can be replanted in a good mix. I try to avoid Miracle Grow mixes, however. I feed with a good fish fertilizer but make sure you get something that has more phosphorus in it (middle number).

You might want to check out the site to get some ideas on planting. They would be excellent for the Roma tomatoes - bigger varieties tend to flop over in them. Good luck!!

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

I put them in about 9 weeks ago.
The soil is way too compacted. Yeah I really don't like Miracle Grow mixes, mainly because I can't stand the smell of them. lol
I forgot I have some potting soil from Costco it's "The Answer Organic Potting Soil". It has peat moss, perlite, and composted bark. Do you think that would be sufficient? I need to go out and buy some fertilizer though I just have some little pellet things that I don't like.

I need to replant my beets too, I fail at container gardening. lol

Is this the stuff you use and you use it in pots?

I seen one of those EarthBox things at Lowes and thought it was really cool but I'm too cheap. lol Although, I'd probably be better off just spending the money on one.
Thanks for all of your help. :)

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Yes, that's the Promix I use. I would hesitate to use your Cosco potting soil (unless you meant to say potting MIX). It sounds like it might be light enough - you have to decide that. But stay only with things that say Potting Mix! If you can get the Promix locally I would go with that.

Pellet fertilizer takes longer to be taken up by the plant that liquid. I am an organic gardener so am careful what I buy. Neptune's Harvest is excellent. It may seem expensive but you only use 1 tablespoon per gallon. I am sure you can find it or an equivalent at a good garden center near you. If you have a Hydroponics store nearby they usually carry good quality organic fertilizers.

Check out You can get the basic ones for under $30 and they last forever - very rugged. I add the Promix to them.

Don't give up on Container Gardening. You will do fine when you have the right ingredients!!


Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

The bag says soil, I never realised that there was such a difference! I think I'll just go out today and but that Promix.
Yeah I prefer the water soluble fertilizers, plus this way I don't have to worry about my toddler eating them! lol
I don't want to give up on container gardening, it's my only option for vegetables, my vegetable garden was the neighbourhood cat litter and I had to get rid of it after trying many different things to keep them away.
I'll definitely have to do some online shopping for next spring.
Thanks again for all of the help! :)

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Let me know if the new Promix helps. For keeping cats out of the garden I have read that the following work: Never tried any of these myself since I don't have cat problems: I just keep a file of various info for a rainy day!!

1. Dig coffee grounds and orange peels into the soil
2. Spread cucumber peels around the garden.
3. Sprinkle cayenne pepper around
4. Puree 1 clove of garlic, 1 tbs. Cayenne pepper, 1 tsp liquid dish soap in 1 qt of water.
My vote is that 1 or 2 are the easiest and least messy. 3 can burn the noses of the cats but then they certainly won't come back!!

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

I bought a bag of that Promix, I love it already! lol Minus the fact that it weighed 60lbs. ;)
Could what I don't use be saved for next year? Would it be something that would be good to root cuttings in?
I transplanted one of my tomato plants and got distracted and transplanted my lettuce instead of the other tomato plant. Hopefully I'll have time to finish the rest tomorrow.

I tried all but number 2 for the cats, even bought some stuff from the store called Critter Ridder and a couple of other products. I also tried chicken wire over top of the soil, someone suggested that since they can't dig up the dirt they won't use it but that didn't stop them. It got so bad that I had to dig up all of the soil, replace it and just laid sod instead.

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Yes, those bags are heavy but if you store it in a dry place it is good for as long as you want. Mine lasts at least two years - I use a lot!! I can't speak to root cuttings because I am no expert with that. But I have used it to start seeds and for transplants of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. I just add other amendments such as worm castings for the seedlings. It is great in the Earthboxes as well. After using it for one season I reuse it the next after removing about a third and adding new as well as more perlite.
You have some pretty persistent cats!! Yikes!
Sounds like you are on your way!! Hope all this works for you!

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Perfect, thanks!
They definitely are persistent, people should have to keep their cats on leashes and in their own yards! lol

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

I don't think these tomatoes have a shot. I transplanted them then I unexpectedly had to go out of town for 3 days, so they never got any water. lol Ah well. At least for next year I have a better grasp on container gardening. ;)

Houston, TX

Zucchini pollination: all squash usually have two kind of blossoms- male and female. The female ones have mini fruit ( in your case mini zucchini) attached. If they do not get pollinated with pollen from male blossoms (the ones with no minifruit connected) they start to shrivel and turn yellow. Usually the flowers start drooping very fast ( within a day or so), so inorder to get lots of zucchini, you should teach your son, that those flowers need to stay on until they turn slimy. However if you want him to have fun, be safe and are not too keen on lots of zucchini- the flowers are edible and used in traditional italien and mexican cuisine, so you need not worry,if he puts them in his mouth ( I do not know how old he is, he might be over that stage).
Have fun with your son and your garden!
Greetings from the deep South!

p.s. my bumbelbees this year have decided to feel too fat for the female floweres and exclusively go to the male ones. What I now do if I have time in the morning is handpollinate (maybe new game for you son?): get one male flower, take of most of the pettales and touch them inside onthe stem of the females. Or use Q-tips or tiny brushes (make up or the smallest paint brushes)

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Sorry to hear the tomatoes didn't recover. In the first picture you had tomatoes on the plant. Did they ever ripen? Roma tomatoes are determinate so usually after the first flush of setting they set less and less. They set a lot in the first flush. Maybe that is contributing to the problem. Personally I prefer other varieties to Romas. If you are looking for paste tomatoes for sauce the oxhearts do better, actually, because they are bigger, yet meaty and continue to produce. There are so many others that taste better as well. Check on the tomato forum for all kinds of great tomato advice!!

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Clearlake, I never thought about hand pollinating them, I'll definitely try it. I get a ton of flowers but none of them turn into anything. I haven't seen a single bee in my yard this year!!!
My son is only two and loves to pick my flowers. lol He doesn't put anything in his mouth at least but it's good to know that the flowers are edible.

Gardadore, my tomatoes never did ripen. I'll check out the tomato forum, thanks. I never knew there were so many different kinds until a few weeks ago! I think next year I'll try a different paste tomato. Thanks! :)

Grand Haven, MI

Hello, I have a question, I dried zucchini seeds for next years plant, and they are all shriveled up, I compared them to the original seeds that I bought, and those are dry and plump.. mine are shriveled and thin, and flimsy.. did I do something wrong.. or do you have any advice?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

They aren't mature yet. We eat summer squash and zucchini as "baby" squash. When it is mature enough to save seed from it's hard just like any winter squash.

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