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Vine Crops

Q. I have been very disappointed with my vine crops this year. My zucchini plants produced no fruit, and the flowers on my pumpkin plants dropped off. Any suggestions for next year?

A. If weather is unusually rainy or cold or bee activity is limited due to improper timing of insecticides, pollination will not occur. Additionally, plants in extreme stress (due to very high temperatures, prolonged drought or other conditions) will abort developing fruit by the dropping the female flowers. Normally the fruit develops inside the female flower after pollen from the male flower is transferred to the female flower.