Category Archives: help blog

‘I have managed to grow a large eggplant with lots of flowers again this year but still no fruit.’

Full question:
I have managed to grow a large eggplant with lots of flowers again this year but still no fruit. The flowers fall off. What am I missing?

Our response:
Eggplants haven’t done so well this year and we think it’s because there haven’t been so many bees around this summer due to all the rain we’ve had. That will affect your pollination. You can pollinate by hand – take a small paintbrush and flick it around gently inside the flowers which will result in pollen being transferred from the stamen to the stigma. This can be quite successful.
You may be short of potassium in your soil – comfrey is full of potassium, so making a comfrey tea is worthwhile and sheep pellets have a reasonable amount of potassium in them too. Potassium helps plants to set fruit.
Also two plants are better than one – if bees are around and about, there will more chance of them doing their pollinating work successfully.
Good luck! 🙂

‘I’m growing pumpkins and get lots of flowers but very few – 2 – pumpkins…’

Full question:
I’m growing pumpkins and get lots of flowers but very few – 2 – pumpkins. I see earlier Q&A and will stop watering them. A friend mentioned male and female flowers. How do I get more flowers that will develop into pumpkins?

Our response:
Yes, if you don’t have an abundance of bees in your area, it’s possible the flowers aren’t being pollinated. And yes, you can do what the bees would do for you with the aid of a small paintbrush. It’s not necessary, but you can identify the male flowers being the ones that form from long, thin stems. The female flowers are closer to the vine and have a small ball shape behind them, which is the beginning of the pumpkin. Carefully dab your paintbrush in the male flower and transfer the pollen to the female flower. But if you just dab the pollen carefully round all the flowers, you’ll do a pretty good job, even if you can’t see the difference between male and female flowers.
Just a reminder that one pumpkin plant doesn’t produce an endless supply of pumpkins – a crown pumpkin will only produce 2; a butternut or buttercup pumpkin will produce 3-4 at best per plant. There are often more flowers on a plant than it can ever physically turn into pumpkins.
All the best! 🙂

‘I am having trouble with my pumpkins… the other female buds go rotten…’

Full question:
‘I have having troubles with my pumpkins. i have being growing it on a trellis. It’s growing quite well, i treated with some sulfur to fight some powdery mildew and it seems to work fine. my problem is that only one pumpkin is growing, the other female buds they go rotten even before getting bigger than 1 cm. i have added fertilizer and I am watering it twice a day, morning and evening. i don’t know if it’s because it’s too hot here in Auckland where i live. but i would like to see more pumpkin developing. is there anything i can do?thank you’

Our response:
Hi there The watering is the problem. No need to water pumpkins. We just give them a good watering at the time of planting and leave them completely alone after that. All the best and let us know how you get on 🙂