Friday, July 3, 2015

Pollination Time! Busy in the Pumpkin Patch

1985 Miller Flower
This morning we had two females open in the pumpkin patch.  I gave both of the females about a 30% chance of opening this morning, but they both popped open today.  The way you know if a flower is going to open the next day is you see the flower elongate and the petals start oranging up the day before.  Sometimes however, they don't orange up a lot the evening before so you have to be prepared just in case they do open.  That was the case with both of these flowers.

There was a hint of orange yesterday evening, so I went ahead and covered each flower so bees couldn't get at them and then I cut off some male flowers that I put in water and took into the house.  This morning at 6:30 (I'm dedicated even on a holiday) I went out into the patch and both flowers were opening.  I took the petals off the male flowers and then rubbed 3 flowers stamen on the inside of the flower.  If you look closely at the 1985 Miller flower below you'll see it covered with pollen.  After pollination I recovered each flower. 
1985 Miller

I have a yard chair that I put over each female flower about a week before pollination.  That is to help keep it cool.  I'll keep that chair in place until the pumpkin won't fit under it anymore.  I'll also cover the pumpkins, once they have laid down on the ground with a piece of polyester, white cloth.  That will help keep the pumpkin from getting sun burn and also keep a curious bird from pecking at the pumpkin which I've had twice before.

The 1985 Miller pumpkin's name is going to be Ada.  The 282's pumpkin will be named Berkley.  Each named after two of my nieces.  The 1985 Miller was crossed with the 282 Scherber and the 282 Scherber was crossed with the 1985 Miller.  Called a reverse cross.

The 1689 Daletas is a seed that my son is growing.  We crossed the 1689 with the 1985 Miller, which is my best looking plant so far. 

282 Scherber
1689 Daletas

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