Here are pictures on how I hand pollinate a giant pumpkin…
Here I’m getting ready to pollinate a giant pumpkin. I’ve gathered several male flowers that are by my shoe. I have one in my hand ready. I try to use several male flowers to make sure I get enough pollen on the female flower. Notice the female flower just below my hand that is open and ready to be pollinated.
Here is a closeup of the male flower. The ants can be accidental pollinators too.
Here is a closeup of the female flower. When she opens up first thing in the morning, she is ready to receive pollen.
Here I’m peeling off the flower petals from one of the male flowers. I peel off the petals so only the stamen is left. That way it can get to the female stigma.
Here is the male flower with all the petals off. Notice the pollen on the stamen and around the base.
Now I take the male stamen that is loaded with pollen and use it like a paintbrush to paint the pollen all over the female stigma. then I repeat with the extra male flowers.
Then I tie and close up the female flower so it can’t accidentally get pollinated by the beez. It will stay closed up for one day and then I will untie it as the female blossom will only acept the male pollen for about a 4 hour period. If you want to know who are the parent pumpkins, this is the way to control the assurance of the genetics. We try to get bigger and better pumpkins each year which is why we hand pollinate.