Posted: 19/06/2015 at 07:06
Anything that encourages insects will help, plotskier. I have lavender planted nearby the pumpkin patch.
Hand pollination is easy. Keep an eye out for female flowers, they're the ones attached to the ends of the miniature fruit. It usually takes 3 or so days from when they very first appear until the flower is ready to open.
Hand pollination is best done early in the morning as soon as the female flower has opened. You can use something like a cotton bud to transfer pollen from the stamen to the stigma. It's best also to use pollen from a freshly-opened male flower. Very gently brush the pollen onto the stigma and, even more gently, inside the stigma. Care is the key. If you damage the stigma it's curtains for the flower.
I prefer to nip out a male stamen and brush it directly onto and inside the stigma. Less chance of damaging the stigma and the transfer is direct.
Typically, you'll get a lot more male flowers than females, particularly early on, and the wait for females can be very frustrating.