pumpkin pollination

Regards pumpkins... Pumpkins clearly have distinct and separate male and female flowers on a single pumpkin plant. Can pollen from the male flowers be used to pollinate female flowers on the same plant? If so, is this recommended or counter-recommended? Is there anything to watch out for if I want viable seeds with high growability?
Dominic
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Dominic-Luc Webb said:

Depends. Usually you can get viable seeds that way.
You'll have a more seed set if you exchange pollen between two different plants.
And there is at least one hybrid variety of 'Japanese' pumpkins which requires cross pollination to get a good fruit set. (It's a cross between two species and requires one or the other of the parent species to supply pollen.) But I'm not sure what quality of fruit you'd get it you saved the seeds from that particular hybrid (or even if they'd be viable at all).
Pumpkins are (most typically) varieties of squash in the same species as summer squashes, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and several other types and (in the presence of bees) will end up crossed with any of these other squashes.
If you want to raise you own seeds, you'd be best off starting with an open pollinated (non-hybrid) variety and hand pollinating. Select a female blossom or two *before they open* and bag them. When the flower blooms, hand-pollinate and re-bag, to prevent accidental cross pollination. Once the flower dries up, you can remove the bag and mark the location of the seed pumpkin in whatever way that suits you. Let the fruit ripen completely on the vine. Spread the seed out to dry after you remove them. Then bag them and store in a cool dry place.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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