Last week I was in Northern California for work, and pumpkins were everywhere. Piled up in fields, filling fruit vendor’s stalls, on window sills and beside doors. It was definitely the season for pumpkins.
I was therefore excited to come home to some pumpkins of our own. I stashed seeds in corners throughout the gardens, and all have been growing well. The smaller “Small Sugar” variety have been the stars, flowering early under large healthy leaves.
We’ve been getting the hang of hand pollination. The female flowers have a round bulb at their base (which becomes the pumpkin), and pollen from the male flowers is hand deposited onto them. The only challenge was that for the first few weeks we’d get one flower at a time, either male or female but never both. Very frustrating!
Still, we got there in the end, and have three pumpkins growing, with the promise of more. (We’re still waiting for our full-sized pumpkin plants to stop trying to take over the world, and to get on with producing fruit.)