Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Why Hand Pollination

Hand pollination technology may be the answer to improving low crop yields in gardens. These simple skills are easy to learn and can benefit amateur and professional gardeners. With the accumulation of experience, you may want to try to create a new flower or vegetable hybrid. After all, plant breeders often hand pollinate when maintaining pure plant specimens or creating hybrids. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

raised garden beds

What is hand pollination?

Manual pollination is the manual transfer of pollen from the stamen or male part of a flower to the pistil or female part. The purpose of artificial pollination is to assist the reproductive process of plants. Hand pollination depends on the sexual orientation of plants and the reasons for this process.

The simplest hand pollination technique is shaking plants. This method is effective for plants that produce androgynous flowers. These self bred flowers contain both male and female parts. Examples of garden plants with androgynous flowers include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

Breezes are usually enough to help androgynous flowers reproduce sexually. Planting these plants in sheltered areas (such as walled gardens, greenhouses or indoors) will result in low fruit yields and require manual pollination.

Hand pollination advantages

One of the main advantages of artificial pollination is that although the number of pollinators is reduced, it can still improve crop yield. Recently, bees have faced an increase in the spread of parasites and disease infections. Insecticides and intensive farming also cause damage to many pollinating insects.

The crops affected by the decline of pollinator population include corn, pumpkin, pumpkin and melon. These monad plants produce male and female flowers on the same plant, but each flower will contain male or female parts.

For example, members of the gourd family first produce male flowers. These are usually clustered on tall slender stems. The bizarre female flower has a stem similar to a small fruit. The main purpose of manual pollination in gourd is to transport pollen from male flowers to female flowers when bees cannot do this work.

To pollinate pumpkins manually, pumpkins, melons and cucumbers remove the petals from the male flowers, and then use a small brush or cotton swab to transfer the pollen to the pistil. The apetalous male flowers can also be picked and used for wiping the female flowers.

raised garden beds

Hand pollination techniques of breeders

Because the purpose of artificial pollination by breeders is to create hybrid varieties or reproduce pure species, cross contamination with undesirable pollen is the primary concern. In self pollinated flowers, the corolla and stamens must often be removed.

Even single and dioecious plants must pay attention to the collection and distribution of pollen. Please follow the steps below to pollinate manually and avoid cross contamination:

Use clean tools and hands.

Collect mature pollen from unopened flowers (if you must wait for the flowers to open before collecting mature pollen, please prevent insects and wind drift from polluting the pollen).

Store pollen in a cool place.

Pollinates unopened flowers.

After pollination, seal the pistil with surgical tape.