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  • Pumpkin query.

    Hi all.
    Can anyone tell me..
    Should I remove most of the male flowers on my pumpkin and leave only a few to pollinate the females that appear.
    I already have a number of pumpkins formed and growing so bees have done their work.
    However I need a few for back up in case I lose any fruits
    Or does it simply not matter about the male flowers being left to die back ?

  • #2
    I leave all of the flowers on.
    If you only want one or two big fruits you can whip off some of the female flowers.
    Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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    • #3
      You should never remove the male flowers. Why would you, anyway? Whether the flowers are removed or die naturally, it makes no difference whatsoever to the growth of the plant.

      The only flowers you might ever want to remove are the female ones, if you want the plant to have fewer but larger fruit, rather than more, smaller fruit.

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      • #4
        Ameno I couldn't see the reason for removing the male flowers either but someone else said they do. I think they thought it would direct more energy into the plant. However the male flower just dies off anyway.
        Thanks for responses.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bobbin View Post
          Ameno I couldn't see the reason for removing the male flowers either but someone else said they do. I think they thought it would direct more energy into the plant. However the male flower just dies off anyway.
          Thanks for responses.
          People often seem to hold misguided beliefs like this. It's how old wives tale start.
          But in any case, male flowers are very cheap for the plant to produce. They require very little in the way of water, protein, or any other valuable nutrients. It's why the plants produce so many of them. They also only last for 1 day each, anyway.

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          • #6
            I do remove faded flowers to stop them dropping to the ground and attracting slugs. We do get industrial sized slugs on my allotment.
            Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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            • #7
              On that note, do people remove any leaves to allow the sun to get to the fruit / allow the bees to better access the flowers for pollination?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by annie8 View Post
                On that note, do people remove any leaves to allow the sun to get to the fruit / allow the bees to better access the flowers for pollination?
                I don't remove them for that reason, but I do remove leaves to stop them shading other plants too much, and to allow me to get easier access where the vines cross my allotment paths.

                Originally posted by Plot70 View Post
                I do remove faded flowers to stop them dropping to the ground and attracting slugs. We do get industrial sized slugs on my allotment.
                That would likely have the opposite effect at my plot. The idea of worrying about "attracting" slugs where I am is laughable. Slugs are everywhere at all times. There's no point in worrying about attracting them, as they are already there. So if anything debris like dead flowers falling to the ground acts as a good distraction, momentarily keeping the slugs away from things you actually want to preserve.
                Last edited by ameno; 24-07-2021, 10:30 AM.

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                • #9
                  I do not move the faded flowers too far away as the intention is to keep them away from newly set fruits.
                  During spring planning I allow a vine running bed next to my squashes with non vine varieties planted alternately. I then steer the vines across the paths in groups.
                  The alternate planting has challenged me in a different way this year. I am another to have a packet of seeds that are not quite what it says on it.
                  A marrow plant has gone crazy and started producing huge fruits with faint raised stripes that are mowing down everything in there path.
                  I have had to prop it up with hay to allow it to cross a curious turban squash vine that came up variegated from saved seed. If the marrow crushed the stem I would loose the first two variegated fruits. I have had to steer the variegated vine all the way round two flying saucer marrow plants along the edge of a busy path.

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                  Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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                  • #10
                    When the fruits ripening I’ll remove a leaf or two if they’re blocking the sun,when the fruits growing let them have the shade. Flowers are always visible I think,I don’t remove leaves for the flowers.
                    Location : Essex

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                    • #11
                      Have removed a few leaves around the pumpkins to make sure they get the sun to grow on a bit. Still having real problems with my onion squash not developing properly due to poor germination. The ones that have taken ok are doing well up the climbing frame. Learning curve for next year I think and give. It’s the first year I’m growing squashes am just pleased to have any success.

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                      • #12
                        So I have 4 onion squash and 4 crown Prince. The leaves on the onion squash particularly are starting to yellow and die back. I have been giving them tomato feed to keep them going. Is there a good way of knowing when the squash is ripe? Reckon the crown Prince still has growing to go before ripening, but onion squash is probably the size I was expecting them to be.

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                        • #13
                          Disaster ! Was just trying to move one of the crown Prince slightly so it got plenty sun and it broke off the plant. Is there anything I can do to ripen it or am I stuffed?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by annie8 View Post
                            So I have 4 onion squash and 4 crown Prince. The leaves on the onion squash particularly are starting to yellow and die back. I have been giving them tomato feed to keep them going. Is there a good way of knowing when the squash is ripe? Reckon the crown Prince still has growing to go before ripening, but onion squash is probably the size I was expecting them to be.
                            You can tell they are ripe because they have attained their ripe colours, the skin is full matt rather than shiny, and the stalk has gone mostly brown and corky. If the stem is still green (for Crown Prince) or yellow (for onion squash) then it's not ripe yet.

                            Originally posted by annie8 View Post
                            Disaster ! Was just trying to move one of the crown Prince slightly so it got plenty sun and it broke off the plant. Is there anything I can do to ripen it or am I stuffed?
                            That depends how ripe it was already. if it already had it's final colour (or at least mostly did) then it should ripen off the vine reasonably well. If it was still earlier than that then it will never ripen, nor store, so you would be better off using it now as some sort of summer squash.

                            In future, don't bother try to move fruits to get more light. They don't need light, not directly on the fruit. They'll ripen just fine in the dark. It's only the leaves of the plant itself which need plenty of light, in order to make sugars to feed the fruit with.

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                            • #15
                              I have got two big squash beds this year.
                              Last year I did Turks turban and they grew well and I saved some seed.
                              Some of the saved seeds grew faster than expected and have clearly cross pollinated with plants on another plot where competition plants are grown due to a wild bees nest under my tool shed.
                              The photos show a fruit with a blossom end that is as large as a turban ever gets with the pumpkin like part of the fruit being much larger than expected. The fruit is close to the stalk beginning to show the brown streaks indicating that it is ripe.
                              The other photo shows a slightly riper fruit that is beginning to show the brown on the stalk. It has been developing a rain water puddle around the stalk but this has not caused any problems.
                              The plant on the other plot was a variety that remains green when ripe.
                              Moving fruits after they have set can cause the stem to split and allow insects to enter the fruit and destroy it.
                              You were lucky it detached when you moved it otherwise you may well have lost it completely.

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                              Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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