Friday, June 30, 2006

Setting Fruit: Giant Pumpkin Vine Life Cycles

(USDA Historical Photo)

Good morning, Growers!

I have been receiving reports from all over Southern California that many growers' giant pumpkin vines are setting fruit! This means that they have already seen male flowers on their vines, and after 4-7 days, the emergence of female flowers. The female flowers are the ones that look like there's a small marble underneath the blossom. This also brings up the fact that all pumpkins are female. They have the seeds, they have the ability to reproduce, they are female. So, since many of you will soon have pumpkins of your own, you may want to start thinking about a suitable name for them. From a botanical standpoint, that would be a female name. This is only a suggestion, you certainly can name your pumpkin anything you would like.

This season's hot weather has certainly encouraged a lot of vine and leaf growth for most growers. This growth, in turn, has encouraged more pumpkins to start setting fruit, and earlier than in the past couple of seasons. I expect some serious contenders in October!

When you have a chance, please stop by Laguna Hills Nursery and Orange County Farm Supply to look at the their vines. I visited Laguna Hills Nursery last week-end, and Gary Matsuoka's vines are doing outstanding. I counted 5 baby giant pumpkins on the vine near the flagpole in the front of the parking lot. I received a call from Chris Roy of Orange County Farm Supply yesterday, and he told me that he's very excited by how well his vine is doing so far. Thank you very much to Gary and Chris for their participation, as always!

It looks like the hot weather is continuing so monitor your soil conditions!

Have a great week-end!