Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sex with pumpkins

Man meatGood lord, I can't wait to see what kind of Google traffic this post drives to my blog.

I've been a little disappointed with my bee friends this summer. Many a sugar pie pumpkin baby has not been pollinated this year, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I've done this before and it always makes me feel a little dirty to be fingering my pumpkin plants, but I wanted to share with you how to hand-pollinate your plants if nature isn't taking its course, so to speak. This works with plants that have male and female flowers such as cucumbers, zucchinis and pumpkins. You know, squashes and whatnot.

First of all, put on some music to put them in the mood. Maybe a little Barry White. Next, some scented candles would be nice. If you're desperate, a little pumpkin porn might work. Now in your best deep voice say, "Let's get it on..." Oh, wait.

On second thought, it's best to just find the requisite parts. Find a flower that has male parts. This will be easy as it looks like, well, a male part. In other words, a pumpkin penis. (Okay, sure, sure it's really called a stamen, but this isn't biology class for Christsakes.)

Girly bitsNow, locate a flower with female parts. This is not exactly a replica of the human female anatomy, but once you see it you'll figure it out. Soft, a little wet and swollen. Jesus, this is getting graphic. If you're real confused the female has a baby pumpkin at the base of the flower.

Feel free to talk to your pumpkins as you do this, it might make it easier. An "excuse me" here and there would be appropriate. You can use something else for this process, but I prefer using my hand.

With the thumb and forefinger gently rub the penis until your fingers are covered with pollen. Now's a good time to whisper something to it. If you want to talk naughty to your plants, that's your business, I don't want to hear about it.

Rub the pollen on the female flower parts. You'll feel how silky it is, so be gentle. Just keep rubbing until all the pollen is on it. Find another male/female combo and go at it again. It's somewhat addictive but just remember, there is no pumpkin sex addiction hotline so try to control yourself. Each plant can really only support 4 to 6 pumpkins so you probably don't want to pollinate too many.

So, there you go! Go forth and hand-pollinate.

49 comments:

Kel said...

LOL.I a1always feel a bit naughty when i do this!and please post the amount of hits recieved!

Robj98168 said...

Do I have to smoke a cigarette afterwards? I feel dirty

Joanna said...

I've had problems with my pumpkins because we have had a wet cool summer (which for England is fairly standard) and bees don't like that! I've finally gotten six pumpkins set on the vines but the flowers only last one day max and if you miss it your chance is gone!

There are a few other ways to pollinate your marrows especially as plants like Zucchini can be very sensitive and if you use your finger you will break off the female parts. A clean dry paint brush (of the craft kind not the home decor kind) rubbed over the male parts then the female parts does the trick, or simply break off the male flower and remove the petals before rubbing it on the female parts - now if THAT doesn't make you feel dirty I don't know what will!

TheCrone said...

Can't wait for our pumpkin's to be on heat! Now where's my Husband hiding? :p

AnnaMarie said...

I used to hand pollinate a dwarf lemon tree I had but I used a paintbrush. Did that make it a sex toy?

Burbanmom said...

OMG, 36 years of life, biology classes and living on a farm and that is the best GD explanation of pollenation I've ever heard!

Madame Meow said...

Wow... that WAS quite graphic.

Mimi said...

A bit graphic, but it works. We have had an immense decline in the bee population so I am glad you found a way to do this on your own. I am a bit odd and use a q-tip.

Bobbi said...

I had to do this with my gourds because they just weren't producing fruit - lots of flowers but no fruit!

Abbie said...

Would you be willing to come in and speak about this topic to my botany class?

Katy said...

I'm sure this probably a well known fact that I've missed somehow, but does anyone know why we are having such a huge drop in the bee population?

Greenpa said...

Hiya, Crunch- and any of the rest of your using "Blogger" for your blogs- I just got SHUT DOWN- as a "spam blog". Whatever the heck that is. They have, they say, "fuzzy robots" policing for spam blogs, and they promise to "review it" and fix the problem; but when I got to Blogger Help- there were a pile of messages from people who've also been nailed- some saying they'd been waiting MONTHS for any response from Blogger. Who, incidentally, promises to delete your blog, within 20 days, if you don't fill out their forms. So far- when I go to their "forms" page- there's no form.

Bleah. Sex with plants is much more fun; but I though I should pass this on-

statia said...

Now I have the "Reproduction" song in my head a la Grease 2.

Make my stamen go bezerk...."

maryann said...

I have no problem with bees this year, of course I had five hives put in my yard by a local bee keeper this spring, my problem is I'm only getting male flowers on my squash vine this year, very few females flowers. My father in law is having the same issue. It was a very wet cold spring in NewEngland and the squash are doing crappy in general this year.

hoorayparade said...

EEK!
I read your blog when I am at work and when I was skimming it I decided I was going to have to save it for tonight.

P.S. Oh no Greenpa!

hoorayparade said...

Greenpa,

I can still view your blog, at least. (Phew!)

~Mad said...

Hoorayparade - I was reading this at work as well - only thing is - I work for a church!
OOPS!
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama
www.xanga.com/madewyn

Greenpa said...

Hooray- yep, it can be read, and even commented on- but I can't make a new post. Weird. Checking at Blogger help; there are a TON of identical complaints today- so maybe it wasn't my own special troll- but a fuzzy bot gone wild at Blogger. No human from Blogger is responding yet- tons of people threatening to change to Wordpress, pronto. Bleah.

Meanwhile- as Crunchy knows, I indulge in sex with trees, regularly. I came up with a name for it- "arborasty"- but to my surprise, when I mention that to fellow forester types- they blench, cringe and run away. Why is that?

There ought to be a similar term for pumpkins, I'm thinking. Cucurbitophily? Hm. Needs work.

:-) Back to my sweat jungle; getting the guineas out to the new pen today, one way or another, sweat dripping down my glasses...

Greenpa said...

Oh, my. Turns out there's a website- The Pumpkin Nook; http://pumpkinnook.com/

which would make pumpkinnooky a pretty good contender...

Verde said...

OK, I am now laughing and blushing and thinking...ohh - maybe that's what's wrong with those couple of squashes..

Green Resolutions said...

I'm blushing!

Thanks for posting. I've been wondering what is wrong with my squash and zucchini. I'll have to go find a paint brush and violate some plants.

Ellen said...

This is hilarious and very educational! I never knew that. Off I do, paintbrush in hand!

Sandy said...

I'm a day late (but somebody's got to be!) so HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I hope your husband is delightfully happy to be home and recovering.

Alas I have no pumpkins, but I will tuck this (dirty) knowledge away for future reference.

vickie said...

hiliarious,

can't wait to have pumkin sex later...oooo

what up with our bee friends? so sad

Rosa said...

about the bees - the short answer is "industrial agriculture" but the real answer is that they're dying off or disappearing and nobody is really completely sure why - wikipedia has a summation of all the press coverage, pretty much, and the answer so far is "it appears to be a combination of issues"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder

Kate said...

I think I got a little hot reading this.

Greenpa said...

I'm inside with the fan blowing on me for a minute or two. So- a little more plant sex...

I really do like this post Crunch; besides the humor it's a very simple, very useful and very little known trick. Good to pass on.

It will work for squash, and melons, too. All those crops can be short because of poor pollination, in various years, so it's great to watch your fruit set- and if it's running low- pollinate by hand. If you eat a lot of pumpkin seed- hand pollination can mean a lot more seeds inside (I think.)

Sometimes if your flowers are all male- it can be because the plants are under-fertilized; or it's just early in the season; frequently these guys will put out only male flowers for a week or so before putting on females too.

A little good bee news- this spring I was terrified for a few days because I could not see ONE bee in all my apple trees (a hundred or so; big ones). I looked hard. No bees. Eventually, I did start to see a few little wild ones in the apple blossoms- but no honey bees at all. The good news- SOMEBODY got the job done, anyway- I've got a very heavy fruit set on all the apples this year; tree-breaking crops on some. The wild bees can be tiny- but they can do a lot of work.

wasteweardaily said...

I have always felt it too intrusive to use my fingers, so I just snap off the male part and perform the act myself inserting the male part onto the female part and rubbing it around until...oh my I am getting too hot. Who says gardening is dull?
Cindy in FL

Sweetpea said...

I have not seen one bee this year in my garden. So, when my squash finally decides to stop producing male only flowers, I will be out there with my paint brush pollinating.

Greenpa,

My eggplant blooms constantly, then they fade, dry up and fall off. Not even one baby eggplant! I have not seen any pests on the plants. Do you have any idea what is wrong?

Thistle said...

Awesome! I feel another article coming on... :)

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rob - You don't have to smoke a cigarette, but you might want to take a shower.

Abbie - Botany class? Anytime.

Wasteweardaily - Great. Now I have the song "Detachable Penis" stuck in my head.

Thistle - Work it girl!

For all of you getting hot, I'm just getting you ready for the weekend. Your husbands/BFs/SOs can thank me later.

Village Green said...

Just what I needed, Crunchie! Some hot pumpkin porn -- outstanding post!

Greenpa, my blog was shut down last night as I was writing a new post. I followed the directions which lead to the notice about a real human would be checking my blog etc. It finally just got unlocked late this afternoon. Although I'm sorry to hear you were victimized, it is also a relief to hear I wasn't the only one unjustly accused.

Ani said...

too funny......
I use Q-tips though-to pollinate my dwarf lemon tree- it seems to like it ;-)

re: the bees- definite lack of honeybees, but here at least I had tons of bumblebees- they do a wonderful job-and pollination of everything has been great this year- even my plum and apricot trees-which is really good for Vermont!

Hausfrau said...

I used the detachable pumpkin penis method as well. Wasn't 100% successful though. Is this like human sex where a baby is not produced every time?

Greenpa said...

Sweetpea- my guess on the eggplants would be- lack of pollination. You can try doing it by hand- or the hormone spray they sell to make tomatoes set fruit would probably also work on the eggplant; both solanaceous- are your tomatoes setting fruit? If they are, it still might be a lack of bees- the wild ones tend to be very time conscious; this species may only be active for a couple hours a day- and they might miss the eggplant target- maybe! :-)

Jenn said...

That just seem so wrong :-)

Glad Hubby is home.

PS-it sure is good to get my nose out of the google reader...

RC said...

I don't think anyone mentioned that you can harvest all those male and non-performing female flowers and saute them in garlic and butter.
You'll love the taste. Also the first foot of leading shoots and tendrils can be cooked up too when still soft and not stringy yet.
As ever, loved the post, Crunchy.

Young Snowbird said...

I saw a video segment on PBS this spring that discussed Colony Collapse Disorder. It did mention Industrial Agriculture as a real negative influence on the health of bees, generally. What was most unnerving to me though was the interviews they had with folks in China. I guess there are areas of China that have totally lost ALL bees, and they have to hand pollinate everything! They showed a pear orchard and all the manual work it takes to bring a crop to fruition. Yikes! Be kind to bees. We need them more then they need us!
It's too hot here now for my cucumbers to grow- I do balcony container gardening. Planted at the wrong time, newbee mistake. Going to try again in fall and also in February. May have to hand pollinate, so thanks for the education!

Mist said...

Might I recommend a switch from Barry White to Paula Cole's "Feelin' Love":

"You make me feel like a sticky pistil, leanin' into a stamen..."

Hell, Barry White's even mentioned in the song. :)

Good post, Crunchy. Someone needs to explain the birds and the bees to all those virginal gardeners out there!

mudnessa said...

my neighbor could definitely use this information. she has dug up quite a few non producing squash plants.

i use to do this for fun as a kid. not sure if i did more harm or help but it sure was fun to rub "all that colorful stuff" on flowers and all over my clothes too. mom sure did love it too, haha.

Stretch Mark Mama said...

Oh, my. I read that with such delight. I have just one flower on my pumpkin plant but I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and "peek under it's tail," like we used to do with our cats.

naturewitch said...

Yes, it works really well, doesn't it? I do this with the corn as well, except you get to use your whole hand! Nothing like helping nature along . . . xx

Theresa said...

Oh cool! I have to go out to the garden to try this. I guess me and the pumpkin flowers will be having a threesome of sorts?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.

I have bees. I see the bees at work. I see the bees go from plant to plant and rest there for awhile.

And I still don't have zucchini, two years in a row. Plenty of tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers.

Mysteries of life.

kate

kimberly said...

that was so hot ;)

Allison said...

Now that you know how to have sex with pumpkins you can watch Forest Love. (Greanpeace)

Ann Blair said...

I use a q tip, too...BUT, Inoticed that even when my veggies weren't getting bees, the lavender and mint were always covered with bees. So, I planted some lavender or mint by the veggies. You have to be vigilant because mint wants to take over the world, but there are bees galore.

MamaBird said...

OH, it never occurred to me that I might have to do this. Bless you for pointing this out to a newbie gardener.

Sharlene said...

Sexxxy. Wishing i had a pumpkin or two to pollinate right about now.

LinkWithin