Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Pollination problems

 Everything about this Paton Twins Giant pumpkin has giant genetics. The leaves, the vines, the rate of growth and now the flowers. This is the first and only female flower to open, the trouble is that there are no male flowers open at all to pollinate it.
 Female flowers are only open for a day or so and there are no male flowers ready at all. Not to miss this opportunity, I did find some male flowers from a Queensland Blue pumpkin vine that was open and covered in pollen.  I am excited at the thought of having a Giant Queensland Blue pumpkin next year!
 Meanwhile back in the greenhouse these little Delizia cucumbers are coming along nicely. The trick with cucumbers is to pick the ripe fruit quickly so that the plant can put its energy into the next cucumber. These are a lovely size cucumber, and beautifully crisp and fresh.
 A bad year for tomatoes, the cool wet start to Summer has not helped the outdoor tomatoes at all. This Sungella tomato is in the greenhouse and has fared slightly better. Really quite prolific! In this case it is worth paying the extra for an F1 hybrid variety.
 The beautiful foliage, flowers and fruit of these Black Pearl Chillis are starting to ripen. A really stunning little chilli. Given to me last year by a kind bloggger as part of my Buddy Morris garden of black vegggies!
Sweetcorn is doing fine too. It was quite slow over the cold, wet spell but now the sun and warmth is here it is growing well.  I have just planted a second sowing of sweetcorn, hope they grow quickly and give me a second crop.


At 12:57 PM, Blogger Lee said...

So, ask a stupid question, but what happens if pumpkin doesn't get pollinated? We've got three huge pumpkin plants, some fruits started to appear but then just fell off. Could this be some sort of pollination issue, or maybe just because they were left to sit on the ground? More fruit coming now, got them sitting on plastic, fingers crossed!

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Lee - it does sound as if yours aren't being pollinated. Typically they just start to rot and just don't grow. There have to be male and female flowers open at the same time and a willing bee! In the absence of the bee you could assist with a male flower and transfer the pollen. I did do a previous blog last year on pollinating pumpkins. Have a search.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Lee - have a look at my post on Friday July 17th 2009 for a 'how to' lesson!

At 9:28 PM, Blogger VirginiaC said...

Matron, I hope you experiment is successful, I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Why I garden... said...

Your veg is looking really good. Hope you will get pumpkins!

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Lee said...

Thanks! We've got male and female flowers, so I'll give the bees a helping hand.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Good luck with the giant pumpkin!

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi matron,your veg is all looking good! We don't have any pumpkins this year with all the bad weather we just simply forgot?!Our courgettes are only just beginning to produce.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Caro (UrbanVegPatch) said...

I've had similar problems with a Sicilian courgette growing on my balcony - no bees up here now the borage is finished. I've had my paintbrush ready every morning and have managed a couple of courgettes, hopefully more if I remain vigilant!


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