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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
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I planted some (3) pumpkin seeds in early May. They have grown

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I planted some (3) pumpkin seeds in early May. They have grown extensive vines with plenty of flowers and spread across a 35 ft. span of garden, but they have absolutely no pumpkins! What could be wrong (perhaps it was something I said?)!

Something you said? Smile I like that!. If we're going to garden, it's nice to have a sense of humor about such things. On a serious note, there are two likely explanations. Pumpkins are in the squash family, and squash plants produce both male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers bloom, then fall off. The female flowers look different in that they have a small bump at the base of the bloom (like a miniature pumpkin). If they are pollinated, they develop into pumpkins. Pollination may not occur for a number of reasons. If the male and female flowers don't bloom simultaneously, pollination can't occur. Sometimes there is a shortage of bees to pollinate the flowers, and then no fruit will develop.

The other thing that sometimes occurs is that no female flowers are formed. A variety of factors can cause that - too much fertilizer, weather conditions, etc. Of course, if there are only male flowers, no pumpkins will form.

Next year, fertilize only once (if you did more than once this year). then keep an eye on the flowers that form. This photo shows a male and female so you can compare:


Male is on the left. If you have flowers of both sexes present, but a shortage of bees, you can sue a small soft-bristled paint brush to place pollen from the males in the interior of the female flower. Then you should have pumpkins.

If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. i wish you success next year.

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