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One of my pumpkins is already supermarket size!

(15 Posts)
SecondhandRose Tue 09-Aug-05 18:22:30

Do you think I'm going to end up with a whopper? I have one other one growing but it's only the size of an orange. What do I do with all the flowers, should I take them off? Loads of flowers but only two pumpkins, suggestions please.

SaintGeorge Tue 09-Aug-05 18:54:40

If you want to grow more pumpkins, you could try cross-pollinating a few more flowers.

I usually aim for only 1 or 2 though and then pinch out the other flower heads, conserve the plants energy output.

Nightynight Tue 09-Aug-05 19:31:26

has anyone ever tried the milk-fed pumpkin trick described by Laura Ingalls Wilder I think?

bettythebuilder Tue 09-Aug-05 20:36:57

I foolishly planted 2 pumpkin plants in my v. v. small veg plot, and now they are taking over.I have at least 1 pumpkin growing. If it grows to be the size of a supermarket (or even a corner shop) we will have to move!

SecondhandRose Tue 09-Aug-05 21:37:49

SaintGeorge can you explain that more simply to us stupid gardeners? Thanks.

SecondhandRose Tue 09-Aug-05 21:39:34

Sorry if that came across as sarcastic, didn't mean to. I genuinely just bought a 10 cent packet of pumpkin seeds in the US and planted them and they are now going completely mad. Can you explain about cross pollination, thanks.

SaintGeorge Tue 09-Aug-05 21:39:58

If you look closely at the flowers you will see there are two different types - one is male, one female. Use a cotton bud to collect pollen from one and wipe it across the inside of the other.

Will try to find you some pics to describe better.

SaintGeorge Tue 09-Aug-05 21:43:41

Pictures and better instructions

Fauve Tue 09-Aug-05 21:46:20

What's the milk-fed trick, Nightynight?

We've got three plants which are vast now; I haven't manually pollinated at all, but then we have lots of bees around. We've had loads of fruit forming, most of which were going spongy and dropping off until the recent downpours; there are now three big, viable ones and lots of little tiny ones. I know I should really take the little ones off, but I got a bit unnerved by the rate at which they fell off before; so I'm just letting them take their chances.

SaintGeorge Tue 09-Aug-05 21:50:30

From a gardening site:

"Gardeners occasionally try to grow giant pumpkins using the "milk-fed" method. This technique is an old-time favorite (probably more myth than fact) which can be tried. Pick out the healthiest vine in the garden, trim off all side shoots. Let one pumpkin form to softball size, and trim off all other flowers. Cut into the vine with a knife about 3 inches down from the fruit. Do not cut through to the other side of the vine. Insert a candlewick, at least 1/4 inch into the vine, through the slit. Place a bowl of milk or sugar water in a depression beside the pumpkin. Place the other end of the wick into the bowl. Fill the bowl with milk or 1 cup of water mixed with 1 Tablespoon sugar. Cover the bowl with plastic to keep out bugs and dirt. Check it everyday. Make sure the milk does not go sour or the wick fall out of the vine. Refill liquid when it is gone. Keep feeding the fruit this way until harvest. It should be gigantic! "

Fauve Tue 09-Aug-05 21:53:16

Oh, too complicated for me this year. If dd ever gets really keen she can do all that. We only want passable ones for Halloween. Interesting, though - thanks.

SaintGeorge Tue 09-Aug-05 21:58:03

I honestly think it is a myth. Most sites seem to think so and I am too lazy to try it to find out for myself. Last year's pumpkin was 15" across without any faffing around.

Nightynight Wed 10-Aug-05 07:54:55

We tried it many times as children, but it never worked. The pumpkin stem always healed itself, so it didnt drink the milk.

we read about it in some children's book, as I said, I think it was Laura Ingalls Wilder, but Im not sure.

SecondhandRose Wed 10-Aug-05 09:08:58

OK, I'm going out there with a cotton bud in a minute. Mine is already 15" across so you might see me at the giant vegetable competition this year!

Fauve Wed 10-Aug-05 17:22:56

Good luck with that...

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