melons and winter squashes setting fruit
I am having fun watching for baby melons. These are now setting fruit. I have heard that I should remove all but two fruits of the larger varieties.
The fruits above are large watermelon, Delicata squash, a large-fruited bottle gourd, Baby Pam pumpkin, Lakota squash and finally a Big Rock pumpkin.
The male flowers below are watermelon, a Big Rock pumpkin flower and a couple of bottle gourd flowers. The white gourds blossoms seem to open in the evening and the yellow melon and orange squashes in the morning. I suspect the white flowers are pollinated by moths at night and I know the bees frequent the melons and squashes.
FYI: I looked up some information tonight on the fruit set process. Of course, squash and melon flowers are either male or female. Female flowers have a baby fruit below the blossom and males don't. Pollination is needed for fruit set. Fruit set also requires a certain temperature range (not too hot) and a healthy vine. Fruit set occurs if the fruit continues to grow several days after the flower has shriveled and fallen off. If the female blossom was not pollinated, the fruit will not set.
Now that I have lots of baby fruits, I'm hoping for at least a few to set. Maybe I'll get a great big watermelon or pumpkin this year!
Here's a photo my dad sent me of a Delicata squash that has set and is growing nicely in his garden. Its supposed to be a very tasty heirloom winter squash. My neighbor gave me the seeds and my parents and I are looking forward to trying them.
Cucurbita pepo (squash)
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai, family Cucurbitaceae)
Pumpkin -- Cucurbita spp.