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Step 11: Step 11: Pollination to Set Fruit

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Having a big beautiful plant is great, but we want a pumpkin to work with. which means that we need to set fruit by pollinating a flower. Once your main vine has reached at least 8 feet, but preferably more like 12 feet, from the stump, start looking for female flowers. You will know it is female because it has a little baby yellow pumpkin right under the flower itself. the male flowers won't.

Once the female flower opens, it is ready to be pollinated. Find a freshly opened male flower and carefully remove the petals. Try not to be too rough so all that pollen (yellow dusty stuff) stays on the male flower's stamen (the long middle part.) Rub the stamen around and on all the female flower's Stigma and Style.

OR

You can let nature do the hard work for you and have the bees get it done. This works just as well if you don't mind possible contamination of other kinds of pumpkins or squash. If you want to ensure a truly HUGE pumpkin, pollinate your flowers yourself and cover with a little cheesecloth to keep out other cross contaminating pesky pollinators (bees.)