Pumpkin blossom question & Cabbage worm question

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Pumpkin blossom question & Cabbage worm question

Post by nosp » Mon, 29 Jun 1998 04:00:00



I thought I'd grow pumpkins this year. The two spirit pumpkin plants are
doing well, are well watered, and have shown lots of those little nubs
that should turn into blossoms. However, just when I think one is going
to unfold, I check it the next day and it looks like it has been cut off
of the plant and removed... there's no trace that I could see.
Sometimes, and this is hard to explain, all that is left is what looks
like a smaller, more compact version of an unfolded blossom at the end
of the vine, which I first thought would be the beginning of the
pumpkin, but I have 0 pumpkins growing.

So, any thoughts on what's happening? Do I have bugs of some sort, or is
this a natural kind of thing, which I shouldn't worry about?

While I'm writing, this is my first year growing broccoli, and I
recently discovered the joys of cabbage worms. I've been picking them
off, and have been trying to swipe off the egg masses when I see them,
but it seems every day a new worm has appeared. Is this a perpetual
problem to be lived with, or is there a way to get rid of the ***s
for once and for all?

Thanks in advance for any comments.....

--
Licensed to drive, fish and practice law.....

Come visit my Web Site at:

http://www.moonsgarden.com/

See you there!

 
 
 

Pumpkin blossom question & Cabbage worm question

Post by tg » Tue, 30 Jun 1998 04:00:00


<snip>

Quote:
> While I'm writing, this is my first year growing broccoli, and I
> recently discovered the joys of cabbage worms. I've been picking them
> off, and have been trying to swipe off the egg masses when I see them,
> but it seems every day a new worm has appeared. Is this a perpetual
> problem to be lived with, or is there a way to get rid of the ***s
> for once and for all?

<snip>

I've found that BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis, variety kurstake) is a safe
and effective control for cabbageworms and loopers, as well as other
larvae of lepidoptera insects (moths & butterflies).  It is sold under
the trade names Dipel, Thuricide, and others.  Cabbageworm eggs are laid
in the daytime by a white moth with grey spots.  If you like sport, you
can also try swatting them with an old badminton racket.  Good luck.

tg (no z in my real address)

 
 
 

Pumpkin blossom question & Cabbage worm question

Post by Pollinat » Tue, 30 Jun 1998 04:00:00



<<However, just when I think one is going
to unfold, I check it the next day and it looks like it has been cut off
of the plant and removed... there's no trace that I could see.
Sometimes, and this is hard to explain, all that is left is what looks
like a smaller, more compact version of an unfolded blossom at the end
of the vine, which I first thought would be the beginning of the
pumpkin, but I have 0 pumpkins growing.>>

   If there is no trace of the ovary left after the petal drops, you probably
are looking at a male blossom. Look at them carefully, and you will see that
some have a tiny incipient pumpkin at the base, which is the ovary, and
identifies the female blossom. Pumpkins have both male and female blossoms, and
they don't always bloom at the same time. The male is the source of pollen for
other plants, and will drop, once it has served its function.

   If your tiny pumpkin starts to develop from a female blossom, then withers
and drops off while very small, it has not been sufficiently pollinated. You
need to have a grain of pollen for each of most of the seeds to initiate and
sustain development of the fruit.

   For good pollination you need pollenizers, which are compatible sources of
pollen, ie, another pumpkin that blooms at the same time (some squashes will
also serve).

   And you need plenty of bees. The little wild squash bees used to be the
pollinators in North America for the curcurbits before the arrival of the
honeybee in colonial times, but these have been decimated by pesticide misuse
in some areas and may be completely absent. They look like a miniature
honeybee.

   Honeybees are also very good, but you probably won't have them, unless
someone has beehives in your area. If they do, thank them for helping you out.
If there aren't beekeepers, you may need to consider keeping them, or get
someone in the neighborhood to keep them.


The Pollination Scene:  http://users.aol.com/pollinator/polpage1.html

Jan's Sweetness and Light Shop    (Varietal Honeys and Beeswax Candles)
http://users.aol.com/SweetnessL/sweetlit.htm

 
 
 

Pumpkin blossom question & Cabbage worm question

Post by J Lync » Tue, 30 Jun 1998 04:00:00


Please describe these wild squash bees in detail!  If you can direct me to
photos that would be better.
Barbie

 
 
 

Pumpkin blossom question & Cabbage worm question

Post by Pat Kiewi » Tue, 30 Jun 1998 04:00:00



Quote:

>I thought I'd grow pumpkins this year. The two spirit pumpkin plants are
>doing well, are well watered, and have shown lots of those little nubs
>that should turn into blossoms. However, just when I think one is going
>to unfold, I check it the next day and it looks like it has been cut off
>of the plant and removed... there's no trace that I could see.
>Sometimes, and this is hard to explain, all that is left is what looks
>like a smaller, more compact version of an unfolded blossom at the end
>of the vine, which I first thought would be the beginning of the
>pumpkin, but I have 0 pumpkins growing.

>So, any thoughts on what's happening? Do I have bugs of some sort, or is
>this a natural kind of thing, which I shouldn't worry about?

I've had problems with animals eating the squash blossoms. If they are
dissapearing overnight, suspect rabbits, if they dissapear during the
day, groundhogs.  rabbits tend to eat only the petals, and leave the
base of the flower behind (fussy eaters) while groundhogs will eat
flowers, 'baby' squash, and tender growing tips as well.  Rabbits
are easy to fence out, groundhogs harder to handle.

Quote:
>While I'm writing, this is my first year growing broccoli, and I
>recently discovered the joys of cabbage worms. I've been picking them
>off, and have been trying to swipe off the egg masses when I see them,
>but it seems every day a new worm has appeared. Is this a perpetual
>problem to be lived with, or is there a way to get rid of the ***s
>for once and for all?

Bt-K (Dipel, Thuricide, and other brand names) will control young
caterpillars.   If they are 'inch-worm' types they are cabbage
loopers, the offspring of a non-descript moth, and if they grow
to be large, fat, and soft green, they are the larva of the cabbage
white butterfly (white wings with black or gray spots and black tips
on the fore-wings).
--
Pat in Plymouth MI
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