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Ornamental Gourds: Why aren't my female bud blooms maturing & blosoming???

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Forum: Ornamental GourdsReplies: 7, Views: 61
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Clinton, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 1, 2008
4:02 PM

Post #5187773

My paltry little "garden" of three (all that's left of over 4 dozen April 'starts') speckled swan gourds has me despondent this week...
A little over 4 weeks ago the MALE blossoms had begun opening in the early morning/evenings. For about 2 or 3 weeks, the vines grew, climbed the fenced, and I cut the 'leading' end away when they reached about 10 feet long, to better facilitate 'branching", and lo and behold... female 'babies' started popping up.

I patiently waited for them to start opening...
One week, two, then the little fuzzy baby turned sickly yellow and just fell off the vine, gourdlet and its top unmatured blossom head and all...
So far this is ALL I've seen happen. Right now, over a dozen like this on the vines, with many already about to give up the ghost like the first, without even opening their baby female blossom for pollinating...

See the picture, below...

Thumbnail by jipsi
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

July 1, 2008
4:18 PM

Post #5187844

jipsi - I hope you figure out what is happening! Whatever it is, it's happening to me, too!
Clinton, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 1, 2008
4:49 PM

Post #5188011

Thanks for the note, Syrumani...
It's so frustrating to get THIS CLOSE... Last year at this time I was hand-pollinating dawn and dusk, every day, half a dozen to a dozen at a time! This year has been almost a total washout for me (pun intended; the rains this year have been the WORST), and to SEE the "babies" show up, only to watch them struggle (come one, bloom, babies, BLOOM!) and fade away... well, it's got me DEPRESSED, to say the least.

I hope someone can help... Too wet? Too dry? Not enough 'something' in the soil? Too cool? (we have only had 2 days over 85 here all Spring, most days have been in the pleasant - but not so for gourds! - 70 to 78 degree range)...

Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

July 1, 2008
5:32 PM

Post #5188281

I don't know what it would be . . . this years crop for me is also borderline disaster. I am blaming much of it on the weather. We have had NO rain and very little cloudcover - I am watering a different area each day. And the wind has been horrible! Definitely out of the ordinary. Not out of the ordinary are the temps, which are in the high 90's and above.

Another part I'm blaming is the soil in certain areas. There are only two areas where anything I plant in the ground is growing. Everything else gets about 8", and either stalls in growth or dies.
Clinton, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 1, 2008
6:36 PM

Post #5188631

Can you imagine what farmers must be dealing with, on a larger scale, this year? We're talking a few gourd plants (no less imortant to US, however! LOL); some farmers here and there are finding a similar ratio (90% to 95% failure?) in their fields this summer...
There will be more of this ahead, I'm afraid, as global warming begins altering weather patterns in earnest... ;-(

Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 3, 2008
2:24 PM

Post #5198025

Pretty scary, especially when they're earmarking so much corn for fuel production (and it takes more energy to turn it into fuel than it winds up making, so we have a ways to go with that technology) but I suspect they'll modify that in light of what the midwest floods have done to this year's crop. How horrible.

But I have the same story as everyone else on the gourd front. I only planted a few, and those in pots. The females make a precious tiny gourd and then it's a little brown icky thing. I assumed it was having put them in pots rather than the ground, and I'm sure that has something to do with it.
Crossville, TN

July 8, 2008
3:22 PM

Post #5223468

Can I join in this Pity one poor Swan Gourd is not making babies either...Jo
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2008
5:08 PM

Post #5224214

Sure, Jo . . . misery LOVES company!!! (lol in my head, 'cause I don't want to freak out my co-workers!)

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