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European Gardening: Pumpkins

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Laurie1
Burwash Weald
United Kingdom
(Zone 9b)

August 10, 2010
8:31 AM

Post #8031072

I've been growing pumpkins for several years and have always had very good results. This year has been odd - late blossoming, and then almost exclusively male blossom. Where I have always gotten multiple pumpkins per plant, this year some plants absolutely nothing. Lots of leaf, good colour, no wilt or fungus - all looking incredibly healthy. Pollinators were late arriving this year, but have had lots of them for the past 6-7 weeks (especially hoover flies and bees) but so few female blossom across all breeds (12) of pumpkins.

Any one else? Any suggestions on why?

Baa

August 11, 2010
9:48 AM

Post #8033479

Laurie

I can only think that it sometimes just happens like that, some years you get a multitude of one gender over another despite previous regularity of behaviour.

The only thing you can do is ensure you hand pollinate when the females blossom, I apologise if that's me teaching you to suck eggs there.
Laurie1
Burwash Weald
United Kingdom
(Zone 9b)

August 11, 2010
11:40 PM

Post #8034893

Baa - actually I find your reply very reassuring. It was pretty close to what I was thinking, but I wanted to check with others to see if they had any further insights. It has made me think about how difficult it is to be a farmer (which I am not - I fall into the pleasure grower catagory) - to be growing for market, relying on that crop for your annual income, and to hit a year when your crop just does something unusual must be so difficult.

Baa, thank you for the reply. I appreciate it, and look forward to next year's sowing. And be assured, that is me, out there being the bee with my little paint brush, looking for every female blossom I can find.

All the best, Laurie
Baa

August 12, 2010
2:58 AM

Post #8034942

Any time.

I've never grown a pumpkin in my life, always fancied it but they take up too much space. My grandfather, a great one for veggies grew marrows every year and I know this was a problem some years.

Farmers usually have a few tricks up their sleeves for this kind of thing, IME but I couldn't even begin to imagine how they cope with this. Sometimes you just have to accept a lost crop.
Laurie1
Burwash Weald
United Kingdom
(Zone 9b)

August 12, 2010
11:39 AM

Post #8035725

Generally, I just love growing them - this year I planted extra to have a charitable pumpkin sale - I was expecting a crop of about 400, but it looks like we will be lucky to get 100. Maybe they didn't like the idea of being rehomed.

Next year.
Baa

August 13, 2010
2:37 AM

Post #8036966

LOL could be!

I hope you get more.

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