" What is going on? I save my pumpkin seeds, and the following year, when I plant them, my fruits are not like those of the year before. They are all mixed up! »
Your gourds have simply crossed each other! How should we proceed then?
Squash are little rascals in the garden. The flowers being male OR female on the same plant, pollinators must absolutely be present for good pollination. Although they are very useful if you want to have squash, they will quickly mix the pollen of all your varieties if you are not careful. But there is a way, other than hand pollination, to prevent outcrossing.
First, it must be understood that squashes are of the GENUS cucurbita, and of the SPECIES pepo. Different species do not mix together. Here are the 4 most widely grown types of squash, although there are others:
Take Canada Crookneck (moshata) squash, for example. If I plant it in the garden next to my Cocozelle (pepo) zucchini, is there a risk that they will mix? No way! Although they are both of the cucurbita genus, they are not the same species!
So, can my muskmelon mix with my Canada Crookneck? Not at all, although it is also from the Cucurbitaceae family, it is of the genus cucumis and of the species melo.
So you can grow 4 different varieties of squash without any of them interbreeding – if you read the Latin names for them!
Happy gardening season.