Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why, out of 15 plants, did I only get 2 pumpkins??

Hi, this was my first year growing pumpkins and it has not gone well! Despite many many flowers, I only have 2 pumpkins. There were at least 8 that got to the size of a plum before turning brown/ yellow and falling off. Why is this? They were watered through the hot june/ july and august was so wet I didnt need to water. I thought maybe more would appear september time, but no more to be seen. Where did I go wrong?

Why, out of 15 plants, did I only get 2 pumpkins??
Pollination. Pumkins will grow to about 2-3 inches and die if they weren't pollinated. Bees are the main pollinator. My neighbor thought he was being nice and sprayed a bug-repellant yard spray over the fence when he treated his yard. I didn't have bees on my pumpkins for 3 weeks.

If you're REALLY diligent, get a small paintbrush or pipecleaner and pull pollen out of the male flowers (long narrow stems) and then pollinate the female flowers (short round stems) by hand. It's a pain, but if you don't have bees - that's your only real sollution.
Reply:Further to the pollination - it's much easier just to break off the male flower and remove the petal, leaving just the stamen and go about fertilising the female flowers with it - the paintbrush thing is way too fiddly and as only female flowers turn into fruit - the male flowers are no loss.
Reply:Sounds like maybe a deficiency disease or fungal disease was causing them to die before they ripened. But your overall problem I believe was they did not get pollinated. Many of our pollinators like honeybees are in short supply because we've killed them off when we kill the mosquitoes. Next year try to pollinate them yourself or go to a L%26amp;G Center and get Blossom Set (it fakes the flower into thinking it's been pollinated and makes a fruit).
Reply:I had 50 squash plants out and I only got a few squash. we had a lack of rain earlier in the season. I don't use fertilizer either. I am going to put manure on this fall and hope for better next year.
Reply:give em beer, appranlty a pint a day makes em grow huge!
Reply:Pumkins given the room are massive plants, 1 plant if healthy will take up several m2, some peaple grow them on compost heaps and they love the over the top richness of that growing medium and the extra heat produced from the rotting matter. I have found that using chicken poo (bought from a nursery in usefull buckets) works a treat. you did the right thing keeping them moist as a dry spell will knock a plant back and the yeild will suffer. Good luck next year.
Reply:Too many flowers aren't necessarily a good thing. You should pick some of the flowers off. The plant will yield bigger and better pumpkins when it isn't trying share the nutrients. Also pumpkin plants are very large, maybe the plants are to close to one another.

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