If you plan to grow fruiting plants such as tomatoes, squash or berries. You are probably wondering about pollination. It can be a little daunting - but need not stop you.
Pollination is the transfer of pollen from male parts of flowers to female parts of flowers. It is a part of the reproductive cycle which serves to fertilize the plant. In order for a plant to produce seed pollination must occur. There are two types of plants. Self pollinators and cross pollinators.
Self pollinators don’t need pollen from another plant in order to be fertilized. They have both male and female parts growing together on the plants. Cross pollinators require pollen from another similar plant, in order to be fertilized.
Pollination may take place via:
Animal contact: Birds, flies, ants, butterflies, and bees track pollen from plant to plant as they search for nectar
Wind: Pollen can be blown by the wind onto surrounding flowers.
Self-pollination: (as mentioned above)
Human assistance: Using a feather, small paint brush, or even just shaking stems gently by hand, we shake the plant and create a little bit of air circulation to promote pollination.
Self Pollinating Vegetables
Self-pollinating vegetables include tomatoes, green peppers, chili peppers, eggplants, green beans, Lima beans, and sweet peas. There are varieties of cucumber as well.
Though these plants are equipped to self pollinate you can help them along by gently shaking or blowing on the plant while it is flowering.
Human Assisted Pollination in Detail
Flowers are the reproductive parts of plants. The male part are called stamen. The female parts are the pistil. The stamen produce pollen, the pistil attaches to the ovule.
To assist pollination first identify the stamen and pistil of your plants.
Next, touch the stamen of one flower with a small brush or swab. (A small amount of pollen will stick to the instrument). You can then transfer the pollen to another flower.
Touch the stigma of the other flower, coating the stigma with the pollen as much as possible.
ENJOY watching your beautiful flowers grow into delicious fruits and veggies.