If you are growing pumpkins on your farm or your backyard or your kitchen garden you may have wondered why does its flower so much but doesn’t give as much fruit we used to have the same concern because we saw a lot of flowers on our pumpkin vine but many of them would fall off within a day and we would feel we are not getting as many pumpkins. In this article, I will talk about how pumpkin flower converting into a fruit.
Pumpkin male flowers
pumpkin vine has male flowers and female flowers, the male flowers are the ones which come up first on the vine maybe a week before the female flowers appear and they look quite different from the female flowers they are on a very thin kind of stem and they face upwards and bloom early in the morning to attract a lot of the pollinators. The female flower on the other hand is more hidden between the vines, often lying flat on the ground, and has a much thicker stem because it eventually has to hold the pumpkin in place and is fewer in number as opposed to the male flowers.
So what we need to do is we need to have pollination to occur and that is usually done by pollinators like these but in the eventuality that you don’t have pollinators on your land you may have to hand pollinate your pumpkin flowers.
How to hand pollinate the pumpkins
Catch male flowers pretty early in the morning and make sure that it has a sticky substance which you can then use to pollinate your female flowers and you will just simply remove the petals, throw them away and then take this and rub it against the female flower. Simply take the pollen and rub it around the female flower. The sticky material should go and stick to the central part of the female flower and after that, your female flower is likely to get pollinated and form fruit male flowers are very short-lived; they probably have a lifespan of just about 24 hours so you can pluck them w ithout any worries.
Pumpkin flower food
You might have heard of pumpkin flower fritters or pumpkin flower pakoras and those are all made from male flowers and not from the female flower.
Pre-harvest care of pumpkin fruit
Leafy foliage of your pumpkin vine and if you see a small pumpkin developing on the ground do put a small cushion made of hay or grass under it so that it doesn’t get in touch with soil otherwise you will find that the places where the pumpkin has touched the ground tend to become a little bit creamish or yellowish in color. If they are hanging off a vine even then make sure you move the leaves aside and actually lookout for the pumpkin because there are chances that you may not see it and you don’t want it to overripe.
- The First trick is pollination, and normally you’re going to have insects such as bees that will come around and they’ll pollinate your pumpkins for you. There will be times when there aren’t enough bee pollinators around, so what you need to do is to find the male flowers, take the pollen from them and put it on the female flowers.
- You can either use your finger or paintbrush and simply collect some pollen on that , or if you wanted to you could take the whole stamen out of the flower and use that for your pollination.
- The best time to pollinate the flowers is in the morning, and you should do that as soon as the flower opens up.
- If you’re lucky and you’ve got bees you’ll find that nature will do its own pollinating thing. You should use pesticide with care so that natural pollinators should not be eliminated from the vicinity .
- Stops the fruit from getting too wet, rotting and getting fungal diseases. It’s an important thing to do especially if you’re growing your pumpkins on a grass area or an area where there’s wet ground.
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