Persistent pumpkin problem. (A calabasas calamity.)

Our garden is in Northern California, on the coast. Last year the pumpkin patch did not get seeds until late June and they were not ready by Halloween. So this year the patch was seeded by late March and the sprouts were immediately devoured by slugs and earwigs. A heavy application of organic insecticide killed off all the little pests and by early May I thinned the sprouts to just one robust plant. It is now host to more than 20 linear feet of vine.
But the swellings under the female blossoms just turn black, rot, and fall off.
Does anyone have any ideas about what to do next year (or even now) to fix this problem. I and my neighbors are at a loss, but to be fair, they are not growing pumpkins.
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Special Agent Melvin Purvis said:

Grow at least two plants. These can be right next to each other (the classic pumpkin 'hill').
Hand pollinate, if you don't see a lot of active bees. Try to ensure you are doing at least some cross-pollinating, one plant to the other.
Don't give them too much nitrogen, and be sure you have a good soil bank of phosphorous. In my garden, pumpkins and squash go into beds prepped with compost and alfalfa pellets, then get mulched with shredded leaves just before the vines start to run. Other than an occasional spray with seaweed, that's all the feeding they get. (My garden soil tests high in phosphorous.)
Research varieties best suited to your area.
Are you growing pumpkins just for Halloween rather than eating? Look for varieties that carry the precocious yellow gene (Wizard, Oz) or are otherwise bred for early color and yield. 'Autumn Gold' is an AAS winner (which means it should be widely adapted) which is early to color and ripen.
My favorite Halloween pumpkin (after trying a number of different ones) is 'Rocket,' available from Johnny's Selected Seeds. I planted them on May 31, and pulled them out of the garden on October 3 (in advance of a frost warning), all nice and orange.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

After enlightenment, the laundry.
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Thank you, Pat. I appreciate the help. Just wait until next year!
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This happens when the flowers are not pollinated. Perhaps your area has a shortage of bees? If so, pollinate by hand, moving pollen from the male flowers into the female first thing in the morning, every morning.
Perhaps you have plenty of bees, but showery weather is keeping the bees tucked snuggly up in their beds and your damp pumpkin flowers are not being visited by bees? If so, again try pollinating by hand.
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)

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Here's what I had in mind:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7661142.stm
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