The Q&A Archives: Why Pumpkins Fruits Don't Set (Hand-Pollinating)

Question: The past two years we have planted pumpkins (Burpee Prizewinner Hybrid and Bushkin) in Northwest Connecticut. The plants have grown beautifully, but no fruit ever set or grew. What are we doing wrong? Someone suggested that it could be a pollinationproblem. If so, what can we do? Thanks for your help. David Lakeville, CT

Answer: Yes indeed, it's probably a pollination problem. Try hand pollinating the flowers yourself if the bees aren't helping. Take a Q-tip cotton swab and rub it against the pollen of male flowers (no little pumpkins behind the flower) and rub it into a female flower (little pumpkins behind the flower). Do this in late morning with fresh flowers only that just opened. Do it to as many flowers as you can and you should get some pumpkins from the crop.

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