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Pumpkin Plant Woes

i planted some pumpkin plants from seed last spring and thinned them down to the best two, the two i kept grew very well over the summer, LONG vines and BIG leaves....lots of pretty BIG orange flowers but i never got any pumpkins from either one, just wondering why?

Last edited: 24 September 2016 15:27:17

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,781

    This has been a terrible year for squash and pumpkins in many parts of the UK.  Just the wrong sort of weather at the wrong times.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • would that apply to canada as well?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,781

    Seems that way! image

    It's essential that the flowers are pollinated and if you had a cold spell which meant few bees were flying (which is what happened here), while the flowers were open then no fruit will form.  If you grow them under cover then you need to hand-pollinate them.

    Last edited: 24 September 2016 16:15:56

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • thanks,

    there seemed to be quite a few bees around my garden, i also have sunflowers that attract a lot of bees, i did see some bees going into the pumpkin flowers occassionally, i guess they didnt get the job done, would it be beneficial to built some sort of "bee house" near the garden?.....not a hive but a house?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,781

    It sounds like you are doing all of the right things and encouraging bees to nest nearby is an excellent plan.  You can hand-pollinate them outdoors too by taking a male flower, removing most of the flower just leaving the central part and gently pushing it into the centre of a female flower.  The females (which form the fruit) have a mini pumpkin behind the flower but the male flowers don't.  If you had no female flowers form then it might be that the plants didn't get enough warmth, sunlight or perhaps the soil wasn't rich enough (they are heavy feeders - I mix in anout 25 litres of well-rotted manure into the soil where I plant each one.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • could be the soil i guess, i am kind of a newbie, i dug this garden fresh in the early spring and mixed in a mixture of top soil, mushroom compost, and manure, everything else grew very well, but maybe the pumpkins needed more nutrition,

    this is off topic but what the best way to prepare this garden next spring for planting? do i turn all the soil over and rake it? add in more manure/compost?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,781

    One of the best things to do is put down a good layer of well rotted manure about now.  You can leave it on the surface and let the worms do the work for you over the winter then dig the area over in the spring.  The more organic matter you can add the better and that helps whether you have clay-based soil or if it is sandy.  If it is a heavy clay then rough-dig it and the frost will help break down the lumps of clay.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • it is clay based

  • Hi Anyacolo,

    It sounds to me like you done everything right when preparing the soil with manure and mushroom compost before planting. The fact that you had lots of bees visiting your garden, and even saw them visiting pumpkin flowers, pretty firmly rules out a pollination issue! 

    You also live in a warm area so there's little reason for pollinated flowers not to set fruit. 

    Where exactly did you get the seeds from? If they were saved from a store bought pumpkin, I'd say with a degree of certainty that's why they did not produce fruit. 

    If seed (any seed) is bought from a reputable breeder, there are very few reasons, other that uncontrollable disease, that you shouldn't have at least some degree of success.

    Last edited: 24 September 2016 23:38:02

  • hi stuart,

    thanks for your reply,

    i purchased the seeds at a local gardening center that sold many different seeds, i believe the name brand was "Burpee" or something like that,

    all the seeds i planted were bought from the same place (pumpkins, sunflowers, corn, etc etc) and everything grew well, i am no expert, but i don't think the seeds were the issue,

    temps here this summer were very hot most days around 85-90 or sometimes a bit higher

    Last edited: 25 September 2016 12:45:54

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