Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pumpkin Love

(Wait for it, wait for with pumpkins mentioned.)

Pumpkin update = not so good.

First off we had a bad ass hail storm last week that did some major damage to both p-kins and vine. The two biggest p-kins weathered it pretty well, but a bunch of babies lost chunks.

Stupid hail.

A few days later I discovered the tiniest, nastiest looking little white worms entering my pumpkins through the little hail holes. Eew! Yuck! Eew!

Stupid worms.

On the plus side, the hail damaged ones are still growing. And I have a bunch of new baby p-kins, the vine is still getting longer and I'm getting even more new flowers. And tonight I finally dragged myself to Lowes where two nice people helped me find the best pesticide for the worms. Tomorrow I will spray.

The two biggest happiest p-kins appear to have stopped growing bigger once they hit cantaloupe size. I'm was really hoping for some biggies, but what can I ask from a vine that planted itself and is growing on last year's Christmas tree? At this point if I end up with anything I'll be happy. This was all too good to be true.

Now for the sex:

Last week a very sad me, counting my pumpkins before they'd erupted, whined to my dad about how large numbers of flowers had started drying up and falling off, producing no fruit.

"Oh, they most not have gotten pollinated."

Stupid bees!

"Ugh! It's because they love the flowers in my front yard."

"Well that's okay! You can pollinate them yourself."

(Silence. Millions of visuals streaming before my eyes, none of which I am going to mention to my own father.)

"Like...uh...blow on them or something?"

"No, find something small and rub them gently."

Are we really having this discussion?

"Like a something-I-can't-remember now."

"Or a Q-tip?"

"Sure, that would work too. Just open them up and use the lightest touch."


So there I was, a few nights later, in my patch, in the dark (yeah...I don't know the back fence neighbors well enough yet, and none of them have window coverings) Q-tip in one hand, flashlight in the other, making pumpkin love.


No luck.

Finally I take my problems to the all knowing internet. Here's what I found: P-kin vines have both male and female flowers, and of course male flowers will not produce fruit, so it's not only not my fault but beyond my control.

Dude. Why didn't I know this? I took Bio,'s totally logical.

In fact male flowers only last a day. BUT I need to catch them right away so I can collect their pollen for my girls before the bees do. Suggestion? Stalk the bastards out the night before they open and tie baggies over them so the bees won't steal their goods by 5am. And while you don't need to fertilize your girls before sunrise, on the other hand this person does it between 7:30 and 9am.

I hate morning sex, any kind.

And if you think I'm making this shit up, here you go: first hit on Goggle search for pumpkin + flower + pollinate.



Heidi said...

I love your dedication!

matthew's mommy said...

she's back ... yippee ... i have missed you

Doe said...

I am so so glad that you have decided to share this with the class...