Vegetables and Fruit forum: What Do You Know About Pollination?

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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
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Joannabanana
Feb 5, 2010 6:47 PM CST
Here is the pollination thread.
[Last edited by Patti1957 - Jul 10, 2011 3:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Feb 7, 2010 8:45 AM CST
I would like to create a tomato which is high in Vitamin C, lycopene and beta carotene. There are already varieties which are high in one of these.

Double Rich is high in Vitamin C (supposed to have Vitamin C equivalent to an orange?)
Healthkick is high in lycopene (the chemical which prevents prostrate cancer)
Carorich is high in betacarotene.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 7, 2010 9:31 AM CST
Caroline,

So are you going to try to cross pollinate to create a new variety?
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Feb 10, 2010 12:36 PM CST
Yes, I will try to cross one of them with the other two, for this year. Never done it before so it is one more experiment.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Feb 10, 2010 12:37 PM CST
Well that is adventurous!!
Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
Life is to short to eat rice cakes
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herbie43
Dec 15, 2010 8:46 AM CST
i don't know if you also belong to daves arden but carolyn over thee has a phd in that kind of stuff and she is also the author of a best selling book called the best 100 heirloom tomatoes for your garden.

if you are not a member i pulled this from the internet in case you may not have seen this
Vegetable crops that produce a fruit (such as tomatoes and peas) require pollination in order to develop fruit. Pollination occurs when pollen from a flower’s male sexual organ (stamen) comes into contact with a flower’s female sexual organ (stigma). Self-pollinators (such as tomatoes and peas) have both male and female parts on the same flower. Wind or insects dislodge the pollen, which leads to fertilization within the flower.

Some vegetable plants produce a separate male and female flower (such as pumpkins, squash and cucumbers). Pollination occurs when insects (such as bees and hoverflies) visit flowers, collecting nectar and pollen. Pollen is rubbed onto the insect and is then rubbed off onto the next flower the insect visits. Fruit will develop if male pollen has been transferred into a female flower of the same species.

Other types of pollination
Sweet corn is pollinated by wind. This occurs when pollen from the male part of the plant falls onto the wispy immature heads of the corncobs. Planting sweet corn in blocks of at least four increases the rate of wind pollination, ensuring that all the corn kernels on the cob will develop.

Problems with poor pollination
If your vegetable plants are not yielding fruit it could be due to poor pollination. Poor pollination can occur for a number of reasons:

•Late frost – frosts can damage flowers and ruin your crop. If the frost was mild you can save the blooms by spraying them with icy cold water first thing in the morning. This slows down the rate at which the flowers warm up and allows them to thaw out gently.
•Poor weather – a prolonged cold spell and heavy rain can result in fewer insects to pollinate your crops. Pollinate the blooms by hand until the warmer weather arrives.
•No access to insects – open the door of your greenhouse on sunny days and let the insects in to pollinate your plants. Alternatively, pollinate by hand (see below).
•Dry atmosphere – a dry atmosphere can cause poor pollination or malformation of the fruit. Leave a bucket of water in your greenhouse or regularly mist your crops to increase humidity.
Encouraging insect pollination
You will encourage insects to visit your garden or allotment by planting a wide range of flowers. Whilst gathering nectar and pollen from the flowers they will also pollinate your crops, increasing your yields. The following flowers are particularly good at attracting insects to your plot:


•Comfrey
•Foxglove
•Geranium
•Lupin
•Buddleia
•Lavender
•Sunflower
Pollinating by hand
Pollinating by hand avoids relying on insects to do the job for you. Hand pollination is not normally necessary if there are plenty of insects around. However certain vegetables (such as eggplant and kiwi fruit) can be difficult to pollinate, so hand pollination may be necessary.

Pollinating by hand also avoids cross-pollination which can be useful if you want to save seeds. Cross-pollination occurs when pollen from one vegetable variety fertilizes the stigma of a different variety of the same (or similar) species. For example if a bee pollinates a pumpkin flower with pollen from a butternut squash flower, the resulting fruit could be an inedible hybrid of the two (and its seeds will also produce a different fruit).

The method you use to pollinate your crop should depend on the type of flower you are pollinating. Plants in the squash family (such as pumpkin, zucchini and cucumber) have male or female flowers. Female flowers have an immature fruit just behind the flower and male flowers have a long stem with no swelling at the base. Simply pick an open male flower and strip off the petals to expose its stamens and pollen. Then rub them against the stigma of a female flower until you can see the pollen has rubbed onto it.

You can dislodge the pollen in self-pollinating flowers (such as tomato, peas and eggplant) by shaking the plant gently. The pollen within the flowers will transfer onto the stigmas and fertilize them. A more reliable method is to use a soft paintbrush. Gently brush the inside of each flower. You will see the pollen transfer onto your brush; if you transfer pollen between the flowers you will mimic the natural movements of insects.

When to avoid pollination
Some vegetables are not grown for the fruit they produce. Rather, they are grown for:

•the plant as a whole (such as lettuce)
•a bulb (such as onions)
•over-sized roots (such as beet).
You should avoid letting these plants bolt, or run to seed (ie produce flowers and seeds). Once plants have flowered they tend to produce fewer leaves and concentrate their energy on seed production. This can make the leaves taste tough and bitter or reduce the size of the root or bulb you are growing..

These plants include:

•Basil
•Beet
•Cabbage
•Cilantro (unless growing for seed)
•Garlic
•Lettuce
•Onions
•Radish
•Spinach
•Turnip
If you do see flowers on these plants, remove them immediately (this may save the plant). Check the conditions in which the plant is growing and avoid growing the same variety in the same position again. Lettuce and spinach appreciate partial shade during the hottest parts of the day and do not tolerate drought. In warmer climates it may be impossible to grow them without bolting in the heat of mid summer.

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frank
Name: Charlie
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hementia
Jul 14, 2011 11:03 AM CST
I would like to add when it comes to corn pollination
Each immature kernel has a silk fiber attached
One grain of pollen must enter each to reach that individual kernel
If you have more than one variety maturing at the same time,some kernels in the same ear will be different from the intended parents
Mixed colors of kernels may occur.or some may be dent while others are flint,sweet or flour
Check out my daylily seedlings Daylily forum page 4
Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
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psa
Jul 14, 2011 6:41 PM CST
Sometimes, when a bee loves a flower very much...

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