The Q&A Archives: Pumpkins Not Producing

Question: I have two vines of "Jack be Little" that are beautiful. However, the pumpkins only grow to be about the size of a nickel, then shrivel up and die. Lately the blooms fall off the vine before the pumpkin even starts growing. Each vine is about 8 foot long and has produced one pumpkin each so far that made it to maturity. The rest shrivel and die. Help!

Answer: It doesn't sound as though the flowers on your vines are being pollinated. This can be due to cold, windy weather (insects aren't as active when it's cold). To encourge bees and wasps to visit your garden, don't use insecticides, and try to have lots of other flowers in bloom around your garden. You can try to hand pollinate your Jack Be Little's by removing a male blossom and 'visiting' each of the female blossoms on the vine. Female blossoms will have a swelling on the stem directly behind the blossom. Male blossoms don't have the same swelling so the stem will be the same diameter from end of blossom to vine. Just brush the inside parts of the male blossom to the inside parts of the female blossoms. In the meantime, try to figure out why there's so little insect activity in your garden and make adjustments if possible.

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