Late last November, when the Halloween pumpkin on the porch had gotten
soft, I decided to just bury it. Dig a deep hole, plunk it in, and
cover it up. Cheap composting. No carry-away trash, and no pile
turning and aerating effort. I forgot all about it.
As of this spring I have an awesome pumpkin patch at that very spot.
After thinning the fifty or so sprouts that came out of the buried
pumpkin, I have a square yard or two of vibrant vines. Now, it's in a
pretty shady place, so I can't hope for much, but the flowers are
plentiful, and the greenery is lush.
Pumpkin planting would be a marvelous post-Halloween project for kids,
but I've never heard it done before.
I've been a bit surprised not yet to have seen any pumpkins trying to
form on my vines. Are Halloween pumpkins sterile? Perhaps they need
sun to fruit out properly? Fortunately, there seems to be an abundance
of recipes for pumpkin blossoms.
You can always hand-fertilize some of those flowers. :-)
You can tell the male from the female blooms easily enough.
My tomatoes are still in the greenhouse so I've been hand-fertilizing
and have LOTS of plum tomato sets. I picked my first ripe one yesterday.
Mom taught me to do that and she used to joke about going out and having
sex with the tomatoes. <g> She had a great sense of humor...
We've grown many a pumpkin from halloween pumpkins so unless they've
recently become sterile, you should get some from it. Mine always grew
from composted pumpkins too. ;-)
Try hand fertilizing. Pick a male bloom and gather the pollen on a
q-tip. Find a female bloom and brush the pollen on the tip of the Pistil
sticking up from the center of the bloom.
I've found that with a lot of squash plants, I get a lot of male blooms
the beginning of the season so that might be why you have no fruits yet.
By the way, mom must have read something somewhere because one day, she
served me some of the most delicious steamed squash. Turns out it was
baby pumpkin. :-) It's a lot like Tatuma. Harvest the baby pumpkins
when they are still small and green and they are fantastic! ;-d
"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a Son of a Bitch."
Thanks. The main problem was that the flowers were all male (or at
least not obviously female). Which is why I was wondering about
fertility. In fact, you're right. I had forgotten that squash/cukes
put out almost all male flowers first, and the female flowers follow.
Tricky! I now have some of both.
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