My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

A Quick Question For My Experienced Gardener Friends


Does this…



See the yellow zucchini looking thing on the stem beneath the flower?


…mean that I’m going to have zucchini squash? It looks like it could be. But with all my epic squash failures in the past, I’m afraid to get my hopes up.


Oh! I have one more question… Is this…



See the tiny aphids on the leaves on the right?

… bad? (Ants farming aphids on my pepper plant.)


Thanks in advance to all my more experienced gardener friends!


Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, Have a question about Food Storage? Email me:

44 thoughts on “A Quick Question For My Experienced Gardener Friends

  1. I am curious of the answers you’ll get… as I’m just growing a squash plant for the first time πŸ™‚
    I am having a hard time with the other pepper plants I put in the balcony (One is in the kitchen)
    With green flies that damage the leaves badly, it’s a work of patience to clean them with soap water
    (on a few of my follower’s advice) and check them every day, would you or anyone else know anything about it?


  2. Looks like it. You should make some fried zucchini flowers, they are delicious! Enjoy!


  3. If that is a zucchini plant, then yes. You are the proud parent of a zucchini. (I’ve never grown those, so I’m kinda confused about the color.).

    aphids are bad. Use soapy water or a special aphid spray to get rid of them. I can’t see the picture well. Aphids look like a tiny ball of cotton with a tough seed like spot in the bottom center. Lady bugs eat them. If you are in the USA, take a sample of the bug to your county extension office. They can tell you what insect you are dealing with, what it eats, and exactly how to get rid of it. They can also tell you about the ants. There are so many types of those that I dare not speculate there.


  4. Yes Yvette said what I was going to say….you can eat the flowers.


  5. That is zucchini squash, you should have your first crop in a month or so! And peppers are pretty hardy to pests, I wouldn’t worry unless they start eating the flowers or fruits.


  6. Yes you’re going to have zucchini and soap water mixture kills the aphids by suffocating their breathing with the soap water. You have to spray the plants daily to get rid of them.

    Homemade Garden Insecticides

    Oil smothers insects, so if you want a good homemade insecticide, combine one tablespoon of canola oil with a few drops of liquid soap and a quart of water. Make sure you use soap and not a product that is not soap.

    Spray this homemade garden insecticide on insect infested plants, and donοΏ½t forget the underside of the leaves where insects can hide.

    Reapply this mixture after it rains to kill, and control harmful bugs in the garden.

    Use no more than three successive soap sprays on any particular plant.

    1 TB spoon canola oil.
    1 Quart of water.
    A few drops of liquid soap.


  7. Those are female flowers…you will need male flower to pollinate female flowers otherwise they are useless… 😦
    Ask your neighbour who also grow zucchini, if they can spare a male flower in the morning when your female flower bloom! If not the same day, you can try to use a clean cotton swab get the fresh male flower pollen and save the cotton swab in a re-sealable clean bag in freezer for next time to pollinate your female flower.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Forgot to mention, the male and female flowers both edible! You can eat them raw or cook them. Zucchini bread recipe is not bad when you harvest too many.. πŸ™‚


  9. I have the toughest time planting anything in my garden especially this year with the weather turning hot and cold even in May. I planted 10 strawberry plants a few weeks ago and so far, only 4 managed to stick up. Do you happen to know if anything is needed to put on newly planted strawberries to keep them alive?


    • Unfortunately, I do not. I am fighting off rabbits in my neighborhood who seem determined to eat my strawberry plants before they can produce strawberry plants. I’m sorry.

      Perhaps one of my experienced gardener friends can offer some advice. Anyone?


  10. UYou are definitely going to get courgettes (zucchini). In fact more than one – you can see another 3 tiny ones in the photo. Just pick it when it’s the size you want, but be careful – they can go from courgette to marrow seemingly overnight. If you keep picking them the plant will keep producing. πŸ™‚ I can grow courgettes, but am really no gardener so can’t answer your other question 😦


    • Forgive my ignorance, but what is a “marrow”? Thanks!


      • A marrow is an enormous courgette, usually about a foot or so long and about 5 inches in diameter. When I was a child (I’m 46) you never saw a courgette – I suspect it was thought better to get more for yourmoney by growing them huge. So people had marrows which they used to peel and cut up into chunks and boil!!!!. Trouble is, as courgettes get bigger they get more watery. Boiled marrow is not pleasant and has been the bane of many a Childs life ! Thankfully you don’t often see one now πŸ™‚ Should you have a forgotten courgette that turns into a marrow my advice would be to stuff it and bake it. (Rice or mince meat stuffing would be good). Something mum didn’t do :-(. I think marrow is (was) a peculiarly English thing.


  11. I can’t claim expert gardener status, but my parents are! They grow a lot of courgettes (zucchini) and yours looks promising! Not sure about the pepper plant, but I’m afraid I’ve never known aphids to be anything but bad news…


  12. My mother used to spray her roses to get the aphids off with garlic water. Spraying is quite effective.


  13. We call yellow summer squash “Summer Squash”. Maybe it’s a regional thing, but I wouldn’t call it zucchini πŸ™‚ Either way, it looks like you’ll be feasting on some lovely summer squash (yellow or green) soon!


  14. Hi Laurie, in my experience it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have fruit.
    Last year we tried squash in a different than normal place, and although we had many flowers with fruit buds, they eventually wilted and dropped off. They weren’t getting pollinated!
    The female flower with the fruit needs to be pollinated with pollen from the male flower.
    If it seems like bees aren’t pollinating the flowers, you can always pick off a male flower and dust it over the female flowers!
    As for the aphids, soap and water in a spray bottle should deal with them, but it’s a daily job that the ants can’t keep up with.

    Hope that helps! Caran


  15. You don’t want ants farming aphids. No good comes of that.

    Although, gotta be honest, I think it’s kinda the coolist that ants do that! Bees and ants are fascinating!


  16. Yes to zucchinis!!! I’m excited for you, zucchini is so versatile, it’s one of my faves!


  17. That is a squash. Its amazing how fast they grow, they will ginormous quickly if you forget to pick them. Not that ever happens to me… I’m totally jealous by the way. I just put my squash seeds in the ground today.


  18. Definitely you’ve got zucchini on the way. I would wait until the squash part is a bit bigger, and the flower unfurls a bit before picking the flower to eat.
    And yes, insects farming each other on your veggies is bad. At the very least it weakens the plant, but it doesn’t automatically spoil and fruit that does come. (The aphids want the juices that the ants get out of the plant, not the ants themselves. ) Now, if you get ladybugs or lacewing fly you’re in business, as they will eat the aphids. In the meantime, yes, patient, repeated squirting with mild dish suds or wiping with a soapy cloth will remove most of the bugs. Only worthwhile if you’ve only got a few plants. πŸ™‚


  19. The zucchini flowers look okay. If they are pollinated, they should grow into the vegetable. Ants will pollinate a plant although I never want too many in my garden. They can damage the roots by digging a mound. Aphids are just destructive to a plant and should be eliminated. I hope this helps!


  20. Squash have male flowers and female flowers (with a bump at the base). The females need pollinating in order to produce. You can rely on bees or give them a little help. Good luck.


  21. Usually I get a few male blossoms which do not produce a fruit. Then I start getting female blossoms and they get pollinated and produce zucchini.


  22. Yes you are going to have many a zucchini in no time!


  23. looking forward to starting a veggie garden. Wish I could offer advice, but I’ve yet to experiment with my green thumb


  24. Ants/aphids are not bad per se but they can get a bit out of control and negatively affect the health of your pepper plant. Plant nasturtiums nearby and the aphids will migrate to that as they really love them. You can also spray your pepper with a mixture of dish washing detergent and water.

    Your zucchini is looking good. The flowers need to be pollinated for a zucchini to form. if you don’t have lots of bees coming to your garden you can use a soft paintbrush (watercolour brush) to artificially pollinate the flowers otherwise your zucchini will just shrivel up and disappear. If your zucchini plant is healthy you can harvest lots of flowers off of it and you will have many more before you know it. I see quite a lot of buds on that plant.

    Consider planting flowering plants like lavender in your garden to encourage bees.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Zucchini or any squash benefits from human fertilization. In other words, I pluck the male flower stamen and manually “dust” each female pistil with the pollen. This greatly increases successful pollination resulting in mature squash. Your photo showing the flower attached to a yellow swelling is a female flower but it looks more like a summer squash. If it is in fact a zucchini plant, it may not have fertilized properly, turned yellow and will eventually fall off. Try the manual pollination option – I bet you will have much success with that!


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