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How often should I hand-pollinate?

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Cucumber Pollination

Post  Komanui on Sun 29 Apr 2012 - 17:47

Aloha -

I'm pollinating my cucumbers by peeling back the male
flower leaves and brushing the male and female parts.

I have about a 90/10 male to female ratio for the flowers.

1) How often should I pollinate the flowers, e.g., 2-3 days in a row?

2) Is a particular time of day better? (I guess when the bees are out?)

Any other information or suggestions would be appreciated !

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  walshevak on Mon 14 May 2012 - 7:31

Aloha

I found your thread and wondered if you have had any success with your cukes? I've never tried it.

Kay

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  jkahn2eb on Mon 14 May 2012 - 8:44

I've had the same ratio and been pollinating by hand. I just pollinate what I see and have a bunch of little guys going. I've read elsewhere ants are the primary pollinators, not bees.

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Hand pollinating squash

Post  LeeAnne12 on Wed 30 May 2012 - 19:22

I have a couple of questions. Yesterday I had a male flower on my squash. Today, I had two female flowers, so I took the male flower that had closed from yesterday and hand pollinated the two female flowers. Will this work since the male flower was a day old?

Also, do zucchinis need to be pollinated or are they like tomatoes? I have two big ones on my plant and I know there is no way they could have been fertilized.

Thanks!

Lee Anne

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  rjeverett on Wed 30 May 2012 - 19:37

I am new to this (only my second year of gardening) but I actually do know the answer to this because I looked it up myself not too long ago Smile

"Pollen viability in a newly opened male flower is about 92% but by the time it closes that same morning the viability will have dropped to 75%, and by the next day it will be only 10% (Nepi and Pacini, 1993). Thus, it is important for a female flower to be pollinated as early as possible on the day it opens while pollen is still viable"
Cross Pollination

And zucchini do have to be pollinated the same way, while it's a lot easier to ensure pollination with several open in your own garden, it is not impossible for a busy bee to carry some pollen over from a neighbor's flower to yours!

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  littlejo on Wed 30 May 2012 - 21:10

A zucchini it seems, is easy to get pollinated. I think a little flying bug did mine, for I've seen no bees in my garden this yr. I've had 10 lg zukes already. Pumpkin too. I have 8 on the vine already!

Jo

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  rjeverett on Wed 30 May 2012 - 22:26

@littlejo wrote:A zucchini it seems, is easy to get pollinated. I think a little flying bug did mine, for I've seen no bees in my garden this yr. I've had 10 lg zukes already. Pumpkin too. I have 8 on the vine already!

Jo

Oh yea, that does remind me that I read yesterday about it being possible for ants to help with pollination as well. I have an astounding colony of little ants in my beds, they haven't done any harm so I am not worried about them until they do. I do notice that every time a blossom opens they swarm it, so I can definitely see how it would be possible!

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  LeeAnne12 on Fri 1 Jun 2012 - 18:50

That's so interesting! Thanks for the info!

Lee Anne

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How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  Hasselback on Sat 2 Jun 2012 - 23:44

OK, I seem to have a shortage of bees. Until I can attract some, I need to do some hand-pollinating. I thank everyone for their advice in other posts, but want to broach the subject of how often to do this. I figure there is a finite time between when a female blossom is receptive to pollination, and when it dies off due to a lack thereof. I have (and plan on) a variety of plants that are not self-pollinating, and I'm sure they'll have different life-cycles. However, would a once-a-week sweep through the garden make for a minimum of loss due to non-pollination? I really don't want to be out there every day. If I give that much time for my plants' sex-lives, I won't have enough time for my own!

G.

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  braim5 on Sun 3 Jun 2012 - 6:45

The only thing that I am trying to hand pollinate right now are squash. There is such a short window for them. The flowers are only open for a short time. I usually go out in the morning before work while I am watering and assist. When I get home that evening, the flowers are no longer open. I'm sure whatever effort that you make will be beneficial.

BTW, for tomatoes and peppers, all you have to do is shake or provide some sort of vibration. The flowers will self pollinate.

Good luck! I hope that you get a huge yield for your work Very Happy

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Re: How often should I hand-pollinate?

Post  Unmutual on Sun 3 Jun 2012 - 7:27

I wish I could help, but unfortunately I've never had to hand pollinate. I'd assume that you'd only need to do it once per ovum if you did it right, but finding out if you did it right might end up being costly. What might be more important is how(and what) you are hand pollinating. Are you using a brush? Cotton swabs? Smashing the male flower into the female flower? Shaking the plant?

I assume that the cucurbitaceae family is the one giving you the trouble here?

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