Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the pumpkin saga

We all know I've been trying to grow pumpkins.
I have three vines, each potentially capable of growing three to four 3 kilo pumpkins.
I didn't know about trimming the growing tips to encourage female flowers to bloom, so I'd been collecting pollen from the male flowers with a soft makeup brush, like this one here. See the yellow specks of pollen?




This, below, is the inside of a male flower. See the fuzzy pollen?


Here is the pollen from several flowers,


I've been keeping it in a glass, waiting for the female flowers. Hoping it would stay viable, not knowing how long it would keep, if at all.



Below is the inside of a female flower. After trimming the growing tips, two of these developed.
But there weren't any male flowers left!
So I brought the glass and brush outside and brushed pollen into the two flowers.




The female flowers have a swelling at the base, this is the part that develops into a pumpkin if the flower is successfully pollinated.


Three days later, I went outside to check. The flower had closed and was dying, as it does, unfortunately, the base was yellowing, so also dying. My hand pollination was unsuccessful.
Bugger!

I'm not sure if I did it wrong, too late, too early, or if the saved pollen was too old.
I'll wait for new flowers and try again.


Here's another view of the flower.


And one last shot. Pretty aren't they?











9 comments:

  1. As the area's guerilla pumpkin planter, I can happily announce I have 41 pumpkin happily maturing as we speak.!Good luck with your crop.

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  2. I never met a pumpkin I didn't like so lots and lots of luck with your crop.

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  3. Jim; 41 pumpkins!! I'm so jealous, and welcome to drifting.

    The Elephant's Child; I don't much like the Queensland Blue pumpkin, I've found sometimes it can be a little on the bitter side. My favourites are the Butternut. The ones I'm trying to grow now are Buttercup, round and golden according to the picture in the catalogue.

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  4. I thought pumpkins grew really easily.

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  5. River, I HATE HATE HATE pumpkin, so whilst I feel your disappointment I'm glad that there's a few less in the world!

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  6. Better luck next time, don't give up, keep trying you'll get it right in the end and a fantastic crop of pumpkins :-).

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  7. I couldn't get the photos to load last night, but came back today and there they are. You make pumpkins look even YUMMIER.
    I cut them into chunks, place in a greased baking dish, season with salt pepper and a little nutmeg; melt some butter and golden syrup together, add breadcrumbs and mix well, then pour over the pumpkin, cover with foil, and bake till tender. Take the foil off and give the pumpkin a few mins in the oven to brown off.
    YUMMY with a roast.
    Let me know if you try it :)

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  8. Andrew; that's what I thought too. When I was younger, I'd visit school friends and their backyards all had pumpkins trailing over half the yard.

    Kath; it's okay that you hate pumpkins. That just leaves more for me to eat.

    Windsmoke; I'm going to keep trying. The cost of food these days is getting a bit much; I want to grow at least some of my own and store it for future use. I believe pumpkins store quite well.

    Toni; I've done a similar thing, but used maple syrup instead of golden. It was nice, but a little too sweet. Usually, I just roast the pieces and serve with gravy. I put them in when the potatoes are half done, otherwise they get overcooked.

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  9. I LOOOOVE PUMPKINS, so good luck with the crop. I have promised to grow both large and baby ones for my sister's autumn themed wedding in October so I'm hoping nothing goes disastrously wrong with the crops. We had a good result last year but I've not tried small sized ones before.

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