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Hand Pollination ? Toplef10Hand Pollination ? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Hand Pollination ? I22gcj10Hand Pollination ? 14dhcg10

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Hand Pollination ?

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Hand Pollination ? Empty Hand Pollination ?

Post  shannon1 5/22/2011, 2:59 am

I was woundering how many others have been forced to hand pollenate due to lack of bees. Hand Pollination ? 225728   Anyone?
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Post  camprn 5/22/2011, 6:37 am

I hand pollinated my squash and cukes last year. There were bees but not a lot of them.
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Post  quiltbea 5/22/2011, 7:08 am

I've had bees already in my garden, probably because of my early alpine strawberries, but only a rare one now and then.

For tomatoes you don't have to worry. They self-pollinate but it won't hurt to tap their branches whenever you're passing by to be sure of good coverage.

You can also bring out a soft, clean artist's brush to help some of your crops if you have concernrs. Just stroke the brush lightly across the blossoms, from one to the others.
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Post  pelujilla 5/22/2011, 7:54 am

I am wondering if I must hand pollinate my cukes...I have tons of blooms and no cukes yet?
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Post  Furbalsmom 5/22/2011, 11:23 am

Pelujilla,

Do you have both male and female blossoms yet? Very often the first flush of blossoms is all male.

FEMALE CUCUMBER BLOSSOM HAS FRUIT AT THE BASEHand Pollination ? Female11
MALE CUCUMBER BLOSSOM - NO FRUIT AT THE BASEHand Pollination ? Male_c11

Once you have both male and female blossoms, you could watch first to see if the bees or other pollinators are visiting. If not, get in there with your paintbrush or q-tip and have at it.
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Post  elliephant 5/22/2011, 11:42 am

I have to hand pollinate. Sometimes we get bees, sometimes we don't.
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Post  Kelejan 5/22/2011, 3:19 pm

We even get sex-ed here. Very Happy
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Post  Furbalsmom 5/22/2011, 5:01 pm

Yes, Kelejan. It is an important part of life in the garden Rolling Eyes
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Post  pelujilla 5/22/2011, 5:26 pm

Furbalsmom wrote:Pelujilla,

Do you have both male and female blossoms yet? Very often the first flush of blossoms is all male.

FEMALE CUCUMBER BLOSSOM HAS FRUIT AT THE BASEHand Pollination ? Female11Yes, I have those but once the bloom falls off, it shrivels up...
MALE CUCUMBER BLOSSOM - NO FRUIT AT THE BASEHand Pollination ? Male_c11

Once you have both male and female blossoms, you could watch first to see if the bees or other pollinators are visiting. If not, get in there with your paintbrush or q-tip and have at it.
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Post  pelujilla 5/22/2011, 5:27 pm

UGh can you see my post in between your pics? LOL
I have both male and female blooms but once the bloom on the female falls off it shrivels up...
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Post  camprn 5/22/2011, 5:35 pm

pelujilla wrote:UGh can you see my post in between your pics? LOL
I have both male and female blooms but once the bloom on the female falls off it shrivels up...
Shocked
This would indicate failed or no pollination. I had the same trouble last year until I began hand pollinating with a small paint brush.
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Post  pelujilla 5/22/2011, 5:42 pm

camprn wrote:
pelujilla wrote:UGh can you see my post in between your pics? LOL
I have both male and female blooms but once the bloom on the female falls off it shrivels up...
Shocked
This would indicate failed or no pollination. I had the same trouble last year until I began hand pollinating with a small paint brush.

Sigh...off to Michael's to buy a small paintbrush.
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Post  Furbalsmom 5/22/2011, 5:43 pm

That just means the flower was not pollinated. If they were pollinated, the cucumbers would not shrivel and fall off the vine.

Here is an old video on hand pollinating squash (same way you do cucumbers) take the time to watch the whole thing, he shows you how to hand pollinate, then discusses squash bugs and how soon to pick the summer squash

Hand Pollinate
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Post  sanderson 9/26/2016, 12:51 pm

Bump

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Post  camprn 9/26/2016, 2:57 pm

OMG! you're grave digging  Sanderson! Razz

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Hand Pollination ? WxBanner?bannertype=wu_clean2day_cond&airportcode=KEEN&ForcedCity=Keene&ForcedState=NH&zipcode=03431&language=EN
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Post  sanderson 9/26/2016, 6:57 pm

Some of those oldies but goodies are just as good today as they were back when the Forum was started! Is it the reunion rubbing off on me?

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Post  camprn 9/27/2016, 8:11 am

sanderson wrote:Some of those oldies but goodies are just as good today as they were back when the Forum was started!  Is it the reunion rubbing off on me?
So true!

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Hand Pollination ? WxBanner?bannertype=wu_clean2day_cond&airportcode=KEEN&ForcedCity=Keene&ForcedState=NH&zipcode=03431&language=EN
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Post  SwampTroll 6/12/2017, 7:46 pm

Bump

Still useful, as I may have to do this for at least my corn.
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Post  Chuck d'Argy 7/15/2022, 11:02 pm

I have watched 3 youtube videos in the last couple of days about manually pollinating tomatoes and squash.

What caught my attention was one guy used an electric toothbrush to pollinate the open flowers on his tomato plant. (A brief mention of how to do squash after the tomatoes). It's super easy, just a few flicks of the flowers or use an electric toothbrush to shake the freshly opened flowers.

IDK how accurate their rationale is, but if true, and I suspect it is, but it goes like this. The male part of the tomato plant and the female part are in the same flower. So all you need to do is shake the flower and the pollen will get from the male part to the female part. It's that simple. You can flick the flowers with your finger OR you can use the aforementioned electric toothbrush, which is especially handy if you have many plants.

Squash, cukes and melons are the same principle but a little different as the male and female flowers are separate. To pollinate he took the male flower completely off, stripped away the flower petals, and then rubbed the male part on the female part. It works for all of this family with a slight variation for cucumbers. They flowers are too small, so use a small paint brush in much the same manner, rub the male part first with the brush, then female.

I never heard of this before. Thought I'd share in case there are others who haven't.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/16/2022, 9:15 am

Good information, Chuck. I merged it with an older post on the same topic  so it provides good flow of the information.

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Post  Chuck d'Argy 7/16/2022, 9:29 am

OhioGardener wrote:Good information, Chuck. I merged it with an older post on the same topic  so it provides good flow of the information.
Thanks OG, I didn't know this topic existed.

The thing I forgot to add was it wasn't clear to me anyway if 1 male squash family flower had enough pollen to pollinating several female flowers. or just one. 

So I will go with 1 on 1 since there doesn't appear to be any other function for male flowers.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/16/2022, 9:36 am

Chuck d'Argy wrote:
The thing I forgot to add was it wasn't clear to me anyway if 1 male squash family flower had enough pollen to pollinating several female flowers. or just one.

Yes, there is plenty of pollen on the male flower to pollinate multiple female flowers, but it has to be done differently.  If you take small makeup brush or Q-Tip to collect the pollen from the male, then you can "dust" it onto the female flower.

However, that said, if you check your plants in the early morning hours you will probably find a number of bees busily pollinating the flowers before they close for the day. Likewise, a slight breeze will easily pollinate the tomatoes.

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Post  theDefeatedTech 8/5/2022, 11:18 pm

I bought this off Amazon a couple years ago and it's been great for tomatoes.  For me it's a little easier than a toothbrush because the bristles point outward.  And if you need a stronger vibration the bee head is a soft rubber ball you can put against the bud.

Amazon.com : AeroGarden Be the Bee Pollinator : Patio, Lawn & Garden
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Post  sanderson 8/7/2022, 4:56 am

Earlier posts on this Forum mention flicking with a finger or vibrating with an electric toothbrush on the main flower stem, not on the tomato flower. Just mentioning.

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