September through to December is a great time to plant pumpkins in the warmer climates and they are so easy to grow. This can be done easily by seed but you will need at least 10M2 for this vine to explore.  If you already have a pumpkin vine growing, it will pay to check if the pumpkins are setting. If you are finding that the small pumpkins, the size of a golf ball, are dying off then you may need to assist in the fertilization process which is best done first thing in the morning.

Given the decimation of our bee population by the small hive beetle and pesticide use, giving Mother Nature a little assistance on this front may be necessary. Identifying the difference between the male and female flower is not difficult.

As you will see in the pictures below the male flowers are on a thin stem and contain an erect, centre stamen covered in pollen. The pollen is mature and ready for use if it comes off onto your finger. The female flower will have a tiny pumpkin between the stem and the flower. The centre of the flower will contain a multi segmented stigma. Each section of the stigma must be pollinated for a successful outcome. A female flower is mature when open ready to be pollinated. The best ones are the ones with five or six sections to the stigma.


Pumpkin male flower                         Pumpkin female flower
                                   Male Flower.                                                                                               Female Flower.


 Manual Fertilization – Now this is how it is done.

  1. The best time for this is first thing in the morning as mature female flowers will be open.
  2. Identify your mature male and mature female flowers.
  3. Pick off the male flower and carefully remove the petals trying to avoid knocking the pollen off the stamen.
  4. Use the stamen of the male flower and gently rub the pollen onto the stigma of the female flower. Make sure you make contact with all segments of the stigma.
  5. Pollination is complete!

Pollinate as many flowers as you can then sit back and watch them grow!!