By August 1st, I should have pumpkin of many sizes growing on the vine, but not a one. So, I started pollinating the pumpkins myself and with the promise of a warm September I should get a few pumpkins. Here is how to be the Bee!
Make sure you have both a female and male flowers freshly opened. Best time to check is early morning, as they close by mid morning! The pumpkin will always produce more male than female flowers. Sounds familiar! Now, cut or pinch off one of the male flowers at the stem from a different vine if possible. Peel off the yellow pedals and stuff them into your mouth for breakfast. You are now left with the stem and stamen.
Relocate the female flower and gentle rub the stamen around the stigma of the female flower. Again, sounding familiar! That's all there is too it! Checking back in a day or two, one should see the developing pumpkin.
|Unopened female flower|
You can always tell days prior to the flower opening up which is a female flower and which is not. A female flower will have a bulge between the flower blossom and the stem. The female flower will also be closer to the vine. Where as the male flowers will stand tall above the vine. Once pollination has taken place, the bulge is the new pumpkin. If pollination doesn't take place, the bulge will yellow and fall off the vine. Honeybees and Bumble bees are great pollinators for your pumpkins and squashes.
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