Eager Lunch Lady Gourd Plant

fotoxyjenMarch 26, 2013

I bought some decorative pumpkins last fall for my porch & decided to save the seeds for planting this year. I know the seeds may not be true to fruit but if I get anything pumpkin-like from them I'll be happy.

I put all the fruit in the back yard to wait until spring but one (lunch lady gourd) started to rot before the end of the year so I just left it in the garden in hopes of maybe fertilizing the ground a little. Around mid-late February the gourd appeared to be dry & done decomping so I put it in the trash and to my surprise there were 8-10 pumpkin sprouts happily growing under the hollow gourd.

I hate to waste sprouts so I tried to salvage some of the plants and planted the largest one in a large container with potting soil. That silly thing has gone to town & is already almost 3' tall (trellised) now. It's had male flower buds on it for a while but none have opened & now I have lots of female flowers as well.

I'm nervous because I have one female flower that looks like its going to pop any day now but all the male flowers look at least a couple days behind. I tried to prune off some of the youngest male & female flowers to see if it would jump start the plant but I think it backfired and now there is a second female that is rapidly approaching blooming and the males still look a day or two behind them. I hate to lose fruit so I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to encourage the plant to produce male flowers faster (goofy, I know) or keep the female flower closed long enough to wait for the males to bloom? From what I've read it was supposed to have male blooms already by now but I haven't seen any so I'm a little worried. I know its not really time to be growing pumpkins yet but it wasn't intentional. I'd love to "salvage" this sprout into a productive plant if there's anything I can do for it (heat, fertilizer, etc).

Also, I'm a newbie gardener & bit off more than I can chew this year... I would love to plant multiple cucurbits (sp?) this year solely for fruit, not for seed. Would it be okay to plant different species of pumpkins, cucumbers & squash in the same yard this year without getting weird or altered fruits (look & taste)?

I know it's a lot to read but thanks in advance!

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What is your plant growing in? It isn't uncommon to get female flowers before male, they won't get pollinated and you will have to wait, unless you have another squash plant. There is no rushing those males. It is an evolutionary strategy to ensure that the first (and usually best) fruit is not pollinated by the same plant, ensuring genetic variability in the offspring.

Planting multiple cucurbits will not affect the fruit, only the seed. You won't get any weird fruits in appearance or taste.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:39AM
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