Pumpkin problems in Newfoundland

Hope people aren't bored with pumpkins, I see someone else has already posted about them today...
I have recently moved to Newfoundland, Canada and after growing pumpkins for the last two years in the UK I thought I would try here, and hopefully have some ready for the kids for Halloween. The plants are growing well and look healthy and are producing lots of male and female flowers but the embryo pumpkins at the bases of the female flowers never develop into anything, they just shrivel up and fall off when the flower dies.
I have been Googling tonight and I think I have found the answer: pumpkins are usually pollinated by bees, there are very few bees in Newfoundland so my plants are probably not being pollinated. So I guess I'll have to get a small paintbrush and pollinate them by hand. Is this likely the right diagnosis, and has anyone else had this problem when growing pumpkins in out-of-the-way places?
Peter
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Try it, but I have found that if there aren't enough pollinators (how many is enough?) they will still shrivel and drop off. You might try spraying them with sugar water and see if flies, ants, or butterflies will come to them. There are enough other plants growing there that require pollinators, and I don't see why pumpkins wouldn't work. If you could figure a way to draw the black flies to them you might have invented something (we used to live at Goose Bay).
Dwayne

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I was stationed at Ernest Harmon in Stephenville in 1965/66. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I would sure like to visit one time before I leave this old earth. So, figure out those pumpkins so there will be some if I ever get the chance for that visit. <G>
--
J.C.




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Well that's a coincidence, I (and my pumpkins) are in Stephenville too. I guess you were at the US air base (now closed)?
Peter

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and sure could use a little of that COOL Newfoundland air.
--
J.C.



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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

We have had success in growing pumpkins in newfoundland by attracting bees. A tip that has been passed down was to surround the perimeter of the patch with several varieties of perennial flowers that bloom throughout the summer months and several potted or container plants in the patch itself.
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the big joke at our house is to go out in the morning and have 'pumpkin sex'...hand pollinating the flowers.
any day that a female flower opens, just pull one of the many male flowers, peel away the petals, and rub it directly on the female flower. Works every time!
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I did this the other day and now I have about 4 little pumpkins.
--
:) Lynn


"sarab" < snipped-for-privacy@nc.rr.com> wrote in message
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Thanks for all those suggestions everyone. JC, as it's rather a long way from Texas to Stephenville, I could email you some photos of the town and airbase/airport as they are now, if you let me have an email address - let me know if there's anything you'd particularly like to see. Peter.
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Thanks,
--
J.C.



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You're welcome JC, I'll wait until it's stopped raining before I take the photos (this could take a while, it being Newfoundland... You'll have to give me that email address again though, because I'm reading this newsgroup via Google Groups (not a newsreader) and it automatically edits out all email addresses containing an "@" symbol (spam prevention I think). You could either write it here as "yourname at yahoo.com" or email it to me directly at petgray at hotmail.com.
Peter
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