...Well, the HUGE outlay I had started for the 2008 season, back in March indoors, and after debacle after debacle, resulted in three healthy (COMPARATIVELY) swan gourd plants on my back fence, that have been producing endless male blossoms and rare females. Most common are "gourdlets" that have been "starting" WITHOUT the female flower blossoming/getting pollinated yet! And because the gourdlet is not viable, it starts to shrivel and die off, taking the unopened female blossom with it... (see pic for an example of one of the "gourdlets - or "gourd-NOTS")...
...HOWEVER, Hallelujah! TWO female blossoms did appear and I was able to hand pollinate them a couple weeks ago....! :-)
NOW, I have a grand total of TWO swan gourds "in progress" and they're growing quickly. One is really frustrating me in that it wants to grow out in a twisted, malformed kind of way, not matter how well I position it. Any suggestions?
The other is "dropping" fine, so far...
And the BEES HAVE ARRIVED! (Where have you'se guys been, anyway???) LOL
They now reside happily at my "gourd tree", where a dozen or more are busy pollinating the mini gourd plants there (spinner/Tennessee Dancing Gourds, mini bottle, egg and round "coyote" gourds).
This all took place about 1 week ago, and I first discovered the bees by an almost-accident:
early morning, I'm out to pollinate any new female flowers, saw one, reached to pluck up a male and FROZE, my hand inches away, when I saw the blossom was OCCUPIED by "sleeping" bees!!
I'm allergic to bee/wasp sting. Hospital kind.
Thank God my reflexes were fast.
Since a week ago, I've done nothing but water the "tree" at dawn and sometimes late afternoon, and the plants are THRIVING, producing a new viable miniature everyday, it seems...
Very satisfied with the progress here, at least.
Looking good, jipsi!!!
There are alot of us here that have had to resort to hand pollination in order to get any gourds.
It is so nice to see some progress, isn't it?
This message was edited Jul 21, 2008 8:08 AM
I've hand-pollinated my gourds, period, because there just aren't a lot of pollinators up here for those evening blossoms...
the PROBLEM, this year, has been that, instead of a female flower appearing, with a tiny bump beneath it, that gets BIGGER after it gets pollinated, I'm getting an almost fully-formed gourdlet on a NON-blossom (you can see at the base of the gourdlets where the blossom should be, but it's stunted, and NEVER blossoms, never opens....).
Does that make sense? They're just not "normal" this year... it's like something is wrong in the female blossom department: I'm just not getting any TO pollinate! Just these stunted little gourdlets with a null stump where the blossom SHOULD be... ;-(
EXCEPT, one morning, there were TWO fully-formed (although a little anemic looking) FEMALE BLOSSOMS, and I pollinated them lickety split. But that's been it. Nothing else, just those two, so far...
Was wondering if there's some fertilization or soil factor that would cause this... I had NO problems last year....
Below is a pic I posted a week or two ago elsewhere: it shows the odd "gourdlets-without-blossoms" better than I can describe....
I'm finally getting alot of male blooms on my vines . . . and only 2-3 female flowers. I'm wondering if it's possible to save the pollen from the males somehow - maybe put it in the fridge? - then use it when the females do open up . . . I'll have to look into that . . .
The leaves on a Buffalo Gourd is much different than regular gourds...and different from the Coyote Melon...although both gourds look alike on the vine...and the shells of both are much thinner than our domestic gourds....Jo
Interesting.. I've heard of Buffalo gourds, but didn't plan anything with those in mind this year (maybe next?)...
I had CAREFULLY planted and labeled/color coded my regular (swan, bushel, cannonball) and mini starts (egg, mini bottle, mini bushel and spinner... then a lady sent me some coyote gourd seeds and I planted those as well!) this past March; my careful (I'd THOUGHT) shelving COLLAPSED one morning, dumping everything upside down and together. It took me two days just to figure out if it was worth salvaging anything from the tangled, broken heap of leafy starts and potting soil/mangled peat pots.... Most didn't make it.
Of the few I saved, I just put them all into containers or the ground based on their leaf shape alone: the distinct leaves of the minis directed me to put those in the containers (my gourd tree), the others went along a backyard fence.
So I KNOW the unstriped mini's in my pics are eggs or coyote for sure, just don't know WHICH yet...
I only have THREE regular (all are swan) gourd plants this year, and of those, only two viable gourds are growing. Ah, well...
THANKS! Those pic links helped enormously: now I know definitely that the 'other' (besides the tennessee spinners) gourds in my mini area are NOT Coyote or Buffalo, so I'm going with egg...
Their leaves are not even a close match for the Buffalo OR Coyote gourds...
And they don't have any hint of a neck coming in, so I can rule out mini-bushel, I suppose.
The little Spinners' leaves are EXACTLY like these, however:
It's such a disappointment, knowing how I had everything so planned, and ended up with little more than two or three types of gourds this year, and only one or two plants of those each, at most.
No Cannonball (the ones I REALLY had high hopes for), no bushel (I REALLY had wanted to see how my last-year-Biggun seeds would fare as parents), no mini bushel or coyote or sennari/mini-bottle....(heavy sigh).
But I'm determined to enjoy and LOVE the babies I've been given as survivors to foster...
Glad I could help.
Most of the wild gourds II see here in my area are the Buffalo Gourds...but up at a higher elevations I see some of theCoyote Melons...now, I'm not certain that the elevation has anything to do with it...but here in the valley all I see are the Buffalo Goruds.
Farizon, who lives about 2 hours away from me in Bowie, only has the Coyote Melon....so she brings me some once in a while...so after they are dried I can't tell the difference in them. Jo
Those blooms look like the same thing my squash did year before last! I had a million blooms, and only about 5 squash! I bought the plants, I figured they were planted in the wrong sign!