18/52: pumpkin project bears fruit

Some time ago I did a little artificial insemination to ensure fertilisation of a female pumpkin flower. I am delighted to show you the fine result of my interference:

 lovely rogue pumpkin


Unfortunately, some of the pumpkin eggs I tried to fertilise just died off. I am calling them eggs as if they are not mated with a male, there will be no pumpkin.

It is now late autumn and as I was just about to harvest the one pumpkin from that massive vine, and pull out the rest of the plant, what did I spy? Amazingly, both a male and female flower sitting side by side, making googly eyes at each other. I introduced them, and before long they were coupling, with a little help from the Artificial Inseminator. It may well be too late in the season but it’s worth a try. Happy honeymoon!

female and male pumpkin flowers

8/52: light at the end of the pumpkin tunnel

A rogue pumpkin vine had sprung up in our garden, and I was delighted when a whole bunch of flowers blossomed. Ah-ha, that’s potentially a lot of pumpkins, I thought. However, after some research (what would I do without google?!), I discovered that all these flowers had little penises. Yes, they were male and I know you have to have a girl flower as well if you want any chance of a pumpkin. Going with the theory that many male flowers grow before it is time for the female to arrive, to encourage bees to make many return visits and get used to that address so that when she does come, there will be no shortage of pollinators willing to help.

more boys

   too many male pumpkin flowers

Waiting, waiting, waiting, to the point whereby I had nearly given up and then, voila! A little ball appeared, a miniature pumpkin! I carefully opened up the flower to discover the difference between the male and the female variety.

a female at last

inside of a female pumkin flower

Had this already been fertilised by one of the many males? The fact that there was a minute pumpkin there already probably means it had. However, I had waited so long I was not about to take any chances, so I did a little artificial insemination with a male flower just to be sure.

using a male flower for pollination

Looking forward to a nice batch of pumpkin soup in a matter of months; fingers crossed!