Pumpkin science
The goal is to learn more about how pumpkins grow. How do the flowers get polinated? Can we learn more about the genetics of the varieties? With the use of measurements and observation, we should be able to learn much about the pumpkin and how it grows.

There is much to be learned from just watching pumpkins grow. For example, as a pumpkin vine grows, the tip of the vine moves, often in circular motion. What is the frequency of the oscillation? You might think that the vine motion would follow the sun shine, but the actual observations are quite different. For example, look at this timelapse movie. But the fun doesn't stop there! The motion of the plant continues, and is sometimes even greater at night. Is the night-time oscillation the same as the day-time oscillation? What causes the oscillation? Do multiple vines or multiple tips of the same vine oscillate at the same frequency and in unison? The tendrils of the plant also move a great deal. Is that motion synchronized with the vine tip motion? Some experiments may be warranted.

It seems that the tendrils wander around until they come in contact with something solid. Then they wrap around it and anchor the plant. But why is it that the tendrils don't seem to wrap around the pumpkin vine itself. Do they automatically avoid wrapping around their own vine? What about a pumpkin vine growing nearby that is a different plant of the same species? What if the plant is a different pumpkin variety?

McMinnville Dave asks in my guest book whether or not pollen can be collected, saved, then later used to polinate female flowers. Very interesting question. How do you save pollen? Can it be frozen? How long does it keep? Since I don't have the space for many pumpkin plants, it would be useful to my experiments if I could save pollen from year to year. Is that possible?

Pumpkins grow fast. I've recorded size measurements and from the measurements, estimated the pumpkin weight.
Experiments in 2001 Experiments come in many shapes and sizes. You would be amazed at what you can do with a pumpkin.

Copyright © 2001 Jef Treece & Pierre R - Powered by Zope