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OtleyLad

Can you collect and keep pollen (squash)?

I have courgette plants (Taxi) that have several female flowers but the males are not yet open.

If I was to collect the male pollen can I keep it and use it to fertilise female flowers later?

I'm thinking of maybe using cotton wool to gather it, keep it in a jar (in the fridge) and then use it when there are female flowers open.

What do you think?
Sally Too

Sounds cheap and simple and worth a try.....

Let us know!
Hairyloon

I believe that pollen is pretty resilient stuff: pretty much inert until activated.
So it should keep fairly well as long as nothing eats it.
Bugs

Re: Can you collect and keep pollen (squash)?

I think I'd adapt the seed saving technique of when the male flowers are almost ready, tie them closed with a bit of wool/an elastic band, and then pick the whole flower and put it in a jar of water in the fridge or a cool dark place. It might last better this way on the flower...or it might keep developing and your idea of putting it in stasis in a jam jar might work better...try both? Smile
Finsky

When male flowers open in the morning, viability of that pollen is about 92%...and when it closes that same morning/day it has dropped down to 75% and next day it is only 10%.

If you only want to use the pollen for getting fruit to eat, it is possible to store it until next day and maybe 'fool' female flowers to 'think' that fertilization has taken place..partially yes....but with low viability pollen, if the pollen transfershould work, there won't be many seeds inside the mature squash and what ever there maybe, they quite unlikely suitable for seed saving.

There is certainly nothing lost if you try..
Mr O

All the pumpkin growers I have spoken to tell me that pollen can be kept for 1 day in a fridge, after that it is toast! I have never tried it though as I have never had females before males. All of my plants produce the males first.
OtleyLad

All the pumpkin growers I have spoken to tell me that pollen can be kept for 1 day in a fridge, after that it is toast! I have never tried it though as I have never had females before males. All of my plants produce the males first.


As far as I can recollect i'm always getting the female flowers first - must be something in the local air.

Or maybe its one of the indicators as to who is wearing the trousers in the house Wink
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