Hand pollinating greenhouse pluot 2013
I hand pollinated with a small artist brush in my greenhouse. There were no bees so it was me or air movement for pollination. And I think wind is very ineffective on pluot.
In general I was very pleased with the resulting fruit set on pluot.
I got a much better set on Flavor Supreme (like 5-10 times more) than given by bumblebees. I actually had to thin off some fruit and probably should thin more. This variety is a strong setter if it gets pollinated. The bees just aren't attracted to the flowers IME.
There was adequate set on other light setting cultivars (Flavor King and Flavor Treat) so as to provide a full crop. I worked these the hardest and got just about what the bees usually give. I'll only need to thin a few clusters of fruit which is normal for Flavor King. With bees in the past Flavor Treat sets at most double a full crop.
On the known heavy setters ( Flavor Grenade, Flavor Finale, Emerald Drop, Splash, and Geo Pride) I was able to limit set to about 200% of desired level. This saved quite a bit of thinning effort especially on Flavor Grenade which typically requires about 80-90% removal.
Other pluot that look like heavy setting varieties are Flavor Royale, Crimson Royale, and Honey Punch. These set about 2-3 times what I wanted after working them quite heavily. I wasn't real sure how much effort was required on these. But next year I can back off to reduce thinning rquirement.
I underset Burgundy plum a bit because I was thinking it might set without my help. Not so if you want fruit it'll need some help.
Ruby Kat set poorly because of a failure of the flowers to open properly. Not sure of the issue here maybe too dry???
Sweet Treat pluerry set a couple fruit with little effort and after others were done. I think it will probably fall into the heavy setting group.
None of these varieties appear to set by themselves with no help. I thought maybe Flavor Grenade would. But even there flowers that didn't receive pollen from another variety didn't set. Flavor Grenade could be self fruitful but if so it still needs help getting it's pollen onto it's stigma.
All in all an interesting exercise. I spent more time pollinating than I saved by not oversetting, but there was some reduction in thinning time compared to bees.
This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 22:36