1 female fruit/flower!

Hey, I put bone meal around the plants a few days ago (phosphorus), and also trimmed off the ends of the vines. I read that both can stimulate female fruit production, and guess what? I finally have a female fruit that is large - nearly 2" long - and ready to flower! Yay!
This is so cool. I hope I can get at least a half dozen mature 'sponges'. If so, then I'm going to use them as Christmas gifts for people.
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can you build a 'greenhouse' over your vines? luffas need hot weather & i doubt Ohio has enough summer left to ripen the sponges. lee
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No, I think any sort of "hot house" or greenhouse is out of the question. I planted the luffa gourds around the lattice that surrounds 2/3 of our small back porch. (roughly 6' by 6') The only way I would be able to enclose it would probably involve making it so we can't walk in the back door at all.
Thankfully, the bone meal I applied, coupled with lots of pinching of the terminal buds, seems to have made a remarkable difference. Now there are about 18 hefty looking female fruits that look like they will all flower and start maturing. If the one large fruit I have is the rule and not the exception, then these things can grow half an inch a day! If that's the case, I'm guessing most of these will mature. We are close to being smack dab in the middle of a city of 1 million people, and it is always about 5 degrees warmer here than out in the country nearby. We also tend to get about 10 to 14 days more of a growing season. (delayed frost - probably due to all the warmth from the houses, etc.)
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On 8/29/2009 11:35 AM, OhioGuy wrote:

Bone meal on the ground will do no good. The primary nutrient is phosphorus, which does not dissolve and leach through the soil.
Bone meal should have been dug into the bottom of the planting hole where roots could find it. Since the plant is already in the ground, the best way to provide phosphorus would be to poke holes 1-2 feet deep in a circle around the plant, about 1-2 feet from the base. (I use a piece of 1/4-inch steel rebar.) Mix the bone meal with an equal amount of sand and fill the holes with the mixture. (For shrubs and trees, omit the sand.)
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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    What are you talking about? What is a "female" fruit? What makes you believe fruits have gender? What are you drinking? It may be time for a change.
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the Balvenieman
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On 9/10/2009 12:55 PM, Balvenieman wrote:

Partially correct.
Many plants have complete flowers with both male and female parts (pollen and protoseeds). Some plants, including the curcurbits (squash, gourds, melons, cucumbers) have separate male and female flowers on the same plant. And some plants are either male or female (they're dioecious); these include ash and ginkgo trees and asparagus.
Although fruit forms only on either complete or female flowers, it is usually non-sexed. On a female dioecious plant with only one seed in each fruit, however, the fruit might be male or female depending on whether the seed will produce a male or female plant. Since the fruit reflects the parent on which it grew, the sex of the fruit can be determined only with careful DNA analysis.
Luffa gourds are NOT dioecious.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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    Thanks for the clarification. Obviously, I hadn't thought the issue through. I was quickly able to find several examples with a simple Google search. Perhaps I was knee-jerking (or, at least, jerking....) to the "male/female" eggplant myth. Maybe I should be drinking what OP is drinking.
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he means female flowers, of course... the ones that produce the fruit. in many plants the flowers are either male or female (any of the gourds & cucurbits. male flowers start blooming long before female flowers are produced) in some, the males are separate plants from the females, so you don't get fruit unless you have both (hollies & kiwis, for example). i think you need to knock off the Sam Adams a bit before you make snarky replies. lee
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