Success in growing pumpkins in my garden is a long shot. Most years when I have planted these, the vines thrive and take over the area they are given, produce a ton of flowers, tease me with green little pumpkins, then the tiny pumpkins turn yellow and die.
There are several reasons this might happen according to my research: watering issues, sun issues, fungus, or a lack of pollination. In prior years I just let nature take it’s course, and ended up buying pumpkins at the farmer’s market.
This year I decided to try and remedy the problem. After eliminating water, sun and fungus as potential reasons for the pumpkins dying off, I decided it had to be a pollination issue. So, I did the same thing I did with my cucumbers last year, I gave Mother Nature a hand.
The process is very easy. First you identify the male flowers. They do not have a bulge at the base of the flower and a long anther in the center.
The female flower has a bulge at the base as well as a stigma in the center, much thicker and larger than the male anther.
With a paint brush I simply touch the male anther, collecting some of its pollen, and then touch the paint brush to the female stigma. I have no idea if this is going to help the situation, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
There are always going to be challenges when gardening, finding ways to remedy these situations is an ongoing learning process. This could work, but even if it doesn’t, I learned a lot about the anatomy of the pumpkin plant today, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.