Hand Pollinating Gourds To Obtain Pure Seeds - Knowledgebase Question

Ishpeming, MI
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Question by cyber_wizard
July 8, 1999
How do you hand pollinate gourds to obtain pure seeds for next years crop?

Answer from NGA
July 8, 1999
If only that type of gourd is growing in your garden, or your next door neighbor's garden, you can let the bees pollinate the plants and feel quite confident of having pure seed.

If other types are growing nearby you will need to take the following steps:

Cover the female blooms (with miniature gourds at their base) before the blooms open with a fine mesh to exclude bees. On the morning they open, take an artist's paintbrush and dust some male blooms to pick up pollen. Remove the protective mesh bag and pollinate the female blooms. Replace the mesh bag right away (leave it on until the blooms fall off). Place an identifying tag around the vine at the base of the fruit to indicate those which you have pollinated. Repeat this process daily until you have an adequate amount of gourds with pure seeds.

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