Monday, July 21, 2008

melons and winter squashes setting fruit

baby watermelon
baby lakota baby bottle gourd
baby pam pumpkin
baby lakota baby big rock

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!

watermelon flower giant pumpkin flower
gourd blossom gourd flower

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.

Heirloom Squash Delicata

Cucurbita pepo (squash)

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai, family Cucurbitaceae)
Pumpkin -- Cucurbita spp.


Anonymous said...

Aaaah, it's hard to remove the fruit isn't it?
I can't do it!


Anonymous said...

That little watermelon at the top is the cutest thing. I love it's little fuzzies. Our watermelon plant died for some unknown reason. James was so sad!

Anonymous said...

I had four melon plants set in a back plot near my corn. I guess it was too far from the house, because some critter came and ate ALL the leaves off of every plant. My sugar baby watermelon is struggling with a few new leaves, but I don't hold out much hope for it.

I have another watermelon plant that looks hardy, closer to the house, and untouched. No fruit flowers yet, just males. It would be nice to grow a watermelon this year, I've never tried to do it before.

kathy said...

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for a watermelon too! Too bad about the eaten and lost plants :(

Maryogim said...

oooh, I definitely want to plant those next season, so pretty!
have your tomatoes turned red yet? mine are still green and hard! we had two ripen on 7/15 and so far no others... weird.

Anonymous said...

Nice looking squash! I had a butternut squash set about two weeks ago, but it looks like that't the only one I'm going to get this year. I've had two other non-polinated squash shrivel up and drop off. Ah well, one is better than none!

Unknown said...

Delicata's are delicious! I also love how you don't have to cut into a huge squash that you can't use all of in one meal.

We are first-time gardeners (well, unless you count my 4x4 plots as a kid) and have a big patch of only zucchini and delicata. Yum!

Anonymous said...

So thats what stuff looks like when it is coming in thank you for taking to pics now I know.

P.S. You garden looks awsome!!!

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Great photos and what a pretty flowers, especially the white one.