Did you Know Tuesday- Self Pollinate your plants

Tomatoes self pollinate, but other plants  like squash, zucchini, cucumbers, melons of all sorts need the bees to pollinate them for growth. Sometimes there aren’t any bees though and you need to pollinate the plants yourself. It’s easy and quick you just need to know what you are looking at.

I pollinate my squash and zucchini even when we have bee’s around. Mostly though, during the last weeks of May and into June it’s rainy and the flowers end up closing before the rain stops, which means there’s no squash coming our way.  The bees miss the action so I do it myself. This is how I ended up with my ZucchiniZilla , maybe I can grow another mutant squash 🙂 (make sure you stay within the same species of squash if you are thinking of saving the seeds. If you cross pollinate outside the species you won’t get the same “parent” plant seeds)

 What you need to know is where your females are and where the males are. There are two easy ways to tell. First is the stems.

A Male blossom which are more common and tend to be the first to sprout have a long thin stem. A Female blossom already has what looks like a fruit growing, this is the ovary. You can also tell them apart by the blossom itself. Males have a stamen which holds the pollen. The female has a round stigmata in the center.  
In order to pollinate you take a paint brush or a cotton swab so you can brush the pollen off the male and onto the female. If you want to save the seeds for next year, you need to tape off the female before the flower opens. Wait till the male opens then take the tape off or whatever you used to close the female and pollinate it. Close it up again so there’s no cross pollinated, this way you can ensure the seeds for next year, just dont’ forget to mark it so you know which one needs to be saved. You can pollinate more than one male to a female , so you’ll double the chances of fruit. Now, Go be a busy bee and pollinate something 🙂

2 thoughts on “Did you Know Tuesday- Self Pollinate your plants

  1. Melissa

    Got a question for you last year my pumpkins only had male flowers. So what happens when there is no female flower to pollinate…it's just a dud or did I miss something.

  2. Helene

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this in such great detail! I've been googling this topic and most of the posts I've found don't include pics so it was hard to understand what to do.

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