Pumpkin – a frequent visitor to home plots – pleases us with beautiful, tasty and healthy fruits. Despite the fact that the pumpkin is unpretentious, you may encounter problems when growing pumpkins in the garden. For example, with the absence of ovaries and fruits.
It would seem that the plants are developing well, and the long eyelashes of the pumpkin “spread” in all directions. However, if you notice that there are practically no pumpkin ovaries, you need to act urgently. Let’s start by understanding why this is happening.
The main reasons for the lack of ovaries pumpkins
fresh seeds. Pumpkin is best sown with seeds collected 3-4 years ago. It is on such plants that more female flowers are formed.
dense plantations. Too frequent sowing of pumpkin prevents the pollination of flowers, the normal development of plants and provokes the appearance of various diseases. Climbing varieties of pumpkins are usually planted according to the 1 × 1 m scheme, and bush pumpkins can be planted according to the 0.5 × 1 m scheme. In dense plantings, plants must be carefully formed by pinching shoots.
Lack of pollination. In addition to dense plantings, pollination is also hampered by cold, rainy weather. If you see that the female flowers are not developing ovaries, you can pollinate the flowers yourself. To do this, take a male flower (the one with a long stem), tear off its petals and touch the anther to the stigma of the female flower (at the base of which is an ovary). And you can transfer pollen from a male flower to a female flower with a brush.
It is best to pollinate the pumpkin in sunny weather before noon, when the flowers are as open as possible.
shaded place. Pumpkin loves well-lit beds, excellent fruiting in full sun. In a shady place, fewer flowers form on the plant, the shoots weaken, and the fruits are less fragrant.
Insufficient watering and poor soil. For the formation of ovaries, a pumpkin needs a sufficient amount of nutrients (especially potassium and phosphorus), as well as regular watering as the soil dries out. Watering the pumpkin should be settled water, the temperature of which is 20-22 ° C.
acid soil. Pumpkin grows best in soil with normalized acidity (6-6.5 pH). If the soil is acidic, ashes can be added in summer (200 g per m²). It will also become an additional potash dressing.
How to organize the planting of pumpkins?
If the pumpkin has enough moisture and nutrition, the most common cause of a poor harvest is overcrowding of the plantations. The plants form long eyelashes that absorb all the nutrients. The side shoots are poorly lit, become thin and weak, and the leaves, which are always in the shade, begin to ache near the ground. How to help plants?
Remove old and diseased leaves
First of all, it is necessary to remove diseased and yellowed leaves. They must be cut at the very stem, without leaving petioles, with a knife or scissors. After removing diseased leaves, the tool should be treated with a disinfectant, and the plants should be sprayed with a solution of preparations based on hay bacillus or trichoderma. You can also remove some large leaves that interfere with aeration and lighting of the stems. However, remember that if there is an ovary at the base of the leaf, it cannot be cut.
Removing the leaves helps ventilate the bush and provides access to the flowers for pollinating insects. It is advisable to do this work on a clear day before lunch, so that the cut dries in the sun.
Pinch pumpkin shoots
Remove all weak and thin side shoots. If the pumpkin has not yet formed a sufficient number of ovaries, leave the two strongest side shoots with female flowers. On the main stem, remove the growing point, leaving 5 leaves after the final ovary. As the fruits form, pinch off the side shoots as well, leaving 4-5 leaves after the start of the pumpkin.
You can cut pumpkin stems depending on the variety and planting scheme: on some plants leave 2 side shoots with one ovary, and on others – one side stem with two or three ovaries. Do not try to leave a large number of fruits – they will grow small and will not have time to ripen before the onset of cold weather. During the growing season, remove the young shoots that appear in the axils of the leaves, so that all the forces of the plant go to the formation of fruits.
After pruning the pumpkin bushes, treat the plantings with a fruit formation stimulator (Bud, Ovary, etc.). Such preparations not only help to increase the number of buds and ovaries, but also strengthen the immunity of plants.
Mulch the soil under the pumpkins
Mulching the soil in your flower beds helps retain moisture, retards weed growth, and improves soil structure as beneficial bacteria thrive under the mulch. In order for growing pumpkin fruits and lower leaves to have less contact with moist soil, the mulch layer should be updated from time to time.
Don’t despair if there are still a lot of empty flowers left on the pumpkin. We hope that our advice will help you resolve the situation. And part of the male flowers (but not all!) can be used to prepare unusual and very tasty dishes.