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Subject:  Tricking the female to open early

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leishabond

As I am starting a new job in June, I find myself thinking: "crap, how am I going to pollinate babies when I have to leave before daylight?"
Any suggestions? Maybe a grow light turned on early morning? I need to leave at 5am, so it's still dark out. I can't think of a way to tell my new boss that I need to be late to have pumpkin sex......LOL

5/11/2021 5:39:39 AM

HankH

Partlow,Va

I have had success by just opening the flower manually. sometimes one part of the flower may break but no problem. then I loosely tie a netted bag around them like I would normally do. So when I got home they were open but contained in the little net. It worked really well for me this was predawn about 5:30. The trick is to keep your eye on the females so you know when opening day is. Good luck

5/11/2021 7:52:34 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

Harvest the closed male flowers the night before and put under a warm lamp. You could use a heat lamp if you don't have an incandescent bulb. Being under the light for even a few hours should trigger the blossom to open and get the pollen in a nice dry "cheeto cheese" like state to spread on the female lobes. In the early a.m. take the male flowers and head down to your patch. You will have to gently pry open the female to make the pollination. You could try a warm light on the female too. Perhaps put it on a timer to come on a couple of hours before you plan to make the pollination. That would probably help a lot and reduce the amount of damage done to the females petals.
I don't have the time or interest in hand pollinating any more, the bees do all the work for me. Around here a June pollination is going to be pretty pure. Not many gardens have blossoming Cucurbita maxima's in June. So any natural crossing will be from the AG's you have growing in your patch.

5/11/2021 8:02:39 AM

Jake

Westmoreland, KS

It just depends on your goals. If you plan on growing your cross next year you should try to do a hand pollination. However, if you just want to get a big pumpkin and you aren't concerned with the cross I would just let the bees do their job.

5/11/2021 9:33:33 AM

VTWilbur

Springfield, VT

I have cheated a bit by putting the male flower in the female flower the night before. The male pollen ripens in the female flower dropping on the female. To have this work you need to remove petals and remove the flower below where it attaches to the stem. You will have the male pistol and the flower bottom part. place in the female with the male touching the female. The next day the pollen should drop off onto the female. This method doesn't give the best pollenation results but does work.

5/11/2021 10:33:02 AM

cojoe

Colorado

Put the males inside the pollen will be available if theyre kept at 70+ degrees overnight. You might use a small scissors to trim the flower petals half off the female for good access to do the deed.Bag the female after if you want seeds.Dont use a zip lock bag-gets too hot.I like the idea of laying a couple of male pistils? on the female before bagging. The little scissors will help you there.

5/11/2021 11:20:38 AM

leishabond

Man, LOTS of awesome ideas guys! Thanks a bunch. I like the lamp idea, maybe because I'm a cheetos fan :) Anyhow, plan in mind now so thank you all!

5/12/2021 6:06:45 AM

Total Posts: 7 Current Server Time: 5/16/2022 6:12:47 PM
 
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