Two weeks before planting or sowing seed outdoors, make individual planting pockets 1.8m (6ft) apart. Remove these covers as soon as flowers develop, however, because you'll need bees to pollinate them! The primary reason for healthy, glorious pumpkin vines but no pumpkins is lack of pollination. If vines are stressed, male flowers may predominate. The shaded areas may also be under pollinated because it is cooler. Pumpkin plants have two kinds of flowers, male and female, which appear in early July. There is no fall without pumpkins — big kinds, mini kinds, orange kinds, white kinds, carved kinds, and most importantly pie kinds. "It gets the plant up and allows the long vines to cascade down a bit.". The female pumpkin flowers appear about ten days after the male blossoms. Pumpkins have separate male and female flowers, with the male flowers appearing first. 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Take care to monitor the soil — container gardens will dry out faster than normal beds. Growing Pumpkins. Windy, stormy weather also keeps the bees in bed, so reduced fruit sets occur. Close competition also makes it difficult for bees to get to the blossoms. Planting calendars for places in South Carolina. Growing healthy pumpkin plants means being prepared for any number of pests: squash bugs, cucumber beetles, squash vine borers, and aphids can all be a problem for developing fruit. Chances are good that if the vines have been completely devoid of fruit, the culprit is likely pollination or rather lack of it. Hand pollinate before 10 a.m. on a day when a female flower is about to open. It’s easy to tell the difference between the male and female blossoms. If you wanted them to ripen about a week before Halloween, then plan on planting them in mid-July. Some pumpkin plants, such as the traditional carving types, need a long growing season of roughly 120 days. If plants are too close, the competition between plants can reduce the number of female flowers. Pumpkin blossoms can be either male or female. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! This content is imported from {embed-name}. Flooded soil will also damage root systems, causing wilting and flower or fruit abortion. Plant 2 or 3 seeds within a few inches of one another, in case one doesn't sprout for some reason. Resist the temptation to douse the dirt even more if the foliage perks back up again in the evening or under cloud cover, as overwatering can contribute to root rot. (You can tell them apart because female flowers in the squash family have an ovary — what looks like a little mini fruit — right below them.) Each seed packet will list how long on average the plant needs to produce full-grown pumpkins ("Days for Maturity"). Pumpkins generally take about three months to reach maturity, but it can depend on the variety. 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