WARNING, WARNING, this is one of those birds and the bees posts. If you don't want your little ones viewing the female and male parts of plants, then wait to read this post until after the munchkins have gone to bed. And even if you are a die hard G and PG fella or gal, like myself, go ahead, it's okay, get a little racey. After all, you've got to know the difference between the girl and the boy blossoms if you want to do a bit of matchmaking. So stare hard. What makes this girl blossom different from ...
...this boy one. No ones looking, scroll back up and take another peek. Note the difference inside the blossom. Yup, looks like a girl and a boy to me. If you can't figure it out, I'm not about to explain. I've given you pictures, you're mom can explain them.
I will tell you that the boys have a skinny stem and usually there are lots of boy squash or pumpkin blossoms arriving before any girls show up on the scene.
So when I saw these girls arriving early, I was excited. Whoo, hoo, I thought and I emphasise the word - thought - that I was going to have some early Rouge pumpkins. What I've learned is that these blossoms, which are obviously female because of the enlarged area at the base of the unopened blossom, were going to go ahead and do their thing. The yellow instead of green color should have been a clue that these blossoms would not open and the small pumpkin would rot on the vine. Time after time this happened.
Why? Look at the size of the leaves, large and healthy. What am I doing wrong? The cause isn't because the blossoms aren't being pollinated because the flowers never opened to be pollinated. And, the tiny pumpkin started out yellow instead of green. Anyone know the answer to the problem?
My other winter squash plants have done the same thing but now more and more are producing squash in a correct manner, such as this Delicata. This is my first year to raise either the Delicata squash or the Rogue pumpkin. I sure hope there is something to eat come fall. Squash and pumpkins are my favorite foods come fall.
As for the reasons this blog has been a bit quiet, well, I'm working on organizing cooking classes that I will teach through the recreation center. I attended an appraisal for goats (phenomenal amount of information to be learned there, WOW!) and I'm selling goats on Craig's list ( that's a new experience). I'm planning a whole new strategy for my goats now and that has been taking time. I'm researching hay feeders, etc. etc. etc.
I promise, I'll slow down soon and chat, catching you up on the tremendous amount of things I've learned, but right this second, I'm racing to keep up and get ready to go on our annual father and daughters trip so PLEASE>>>>>>>> be patient.