Growing Squash, also Crookneck, Pattypan, Summer squash

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21 Sep 09 Lyndall (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am growing button squash. I have no idea when to pick them, they are only quite small but when the flower dies off, if i dont pick them they die. The only thing is i picked some the other day but they were still a little prickerly? The plants leaves also have some kind of mould would this be the reason why i only have very small squash, before it dies??
11 Nov 12 Kez (Australia - tropical climate)
If the squash die off after the flower closes/dies - this means the flower was not fertilised with pollen from a male flower. I would suggest you carefull pick a male flower (has a single, pointed centre) ensuring you don't shake it so much the pollen drops off, break off the petals surrounding it, & smear it in the crinkly looking centre of the female flowers. Plants can have male & female flowers on them. Re the mould - usually if badly effected the best thing is to pull it out & dispose of in bin. Maybe cutting some leaves off will help it to dry out & stop it spreading due to overcrowding. I have removed lots of leaves on my plants, so they put their efforts into growing the fruits rather than lots of big leaves.
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