There is one pumpkin vine still growing in our garden – formerly known as a butternut pumpkin vine, but now simply known as Novice Gardener’s pumpkin plant because she gave us the (incorrectly labelled) seeds. We have to wait for the fruit to develop before we pumpkin wanna-growers figure out what variety it is because we can’t identify the fruit from the bud alone. What we can say with certainty is that it is not a butternut pumpkin plant!
As usual, with my first time growing anything, I’m simply observing what the plant does and how it reacts to things. It didn’t like the excessive rain we had in November and December. In fact, the vine that had been happily branching out began to let some parts die off. When the rains eased up, it began to flower quite a bit – male flowers, of course. We had a few sightings of female buds, but they all aborted before they could grow to anything substantial.
Over the last weekend, I spotted another pair of fruit buds – both one leaf apart (pumpkin flowers bloom at leaf junctures). When I checked on them this morning, I saw that one had already started to abort. The other, however, was substantially bigger, shinier and greener. The flower bud also looked promising with that tight, conical look that petals have before they start to open. This is the closest we’ve come to having a pumpkin fruit flower, and firsts are always exciting. If it comes to anything, trust me, you’ll hear about it…
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