For newbies: pollination in greenhouses

CarolynA(sierras)September 14, 2006

With so many folks doing greenhouse gardening for the first time I thought I would share something with you. I've been growing veggies in my greenhouse for 2 years now & , duh, I just figured out what's wrong with my squash. OK, I'm a little slow :>) Greenhouse = no bugs = equals no pollination. Yep, I've been hand pollinating the tomatoes with a little paint brush but for some stange reason (old age maybe?) it did not occur to me to hand pollinate the squash. They would get to about 2" long, the blossom would fall off, & the squash would fall off. As soon as I started hand pollinating I got beautiful squash! My neighbors also had the same problem with their outside garden this year because we had no honey bees around. I expect that next year we will have a bumper crop of squash.

Also, some varieties of veggies are "parthenocarpic" and are able to reproduce without pollination. I think I must have gotten some of these types of plants, like seedless cucumbers, by accident last year. Next year I will hand pollinate like crazy!

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Every winter I am in the greenhouse with my bird feathers fertilizing citrus blooms. By spring I have a bumper crop of calamondins. Been doing it for years.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 12:57AM
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Well, I found out why there are no bees around here this summer. They got some sort of, pardon the pun, bug. I thought it was odd that there were zero bees. I sure hope they make a comeback!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 11:48AM
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stressbaby(z6 MO)

Carolyna, put away your paintbrush...all you have to do to pollinate tomatoes in the greenhouse is to shake the plant once a day; best to do this midday.

Tsmith, I hate to tell you this, but my research indicates Calamondins are self-fertile and self-pollinating.


Here is a link that might be useful: Calamondin link

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 9:24AM
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I have no problem with tomatoes forming fruit in our small gh. The door is open most of the day but I can't say I've seen bees around inside.

I've not shaken them either but the 24/7 fans keep them "swaying in the breeze" day and night.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:23PM
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Like clavero, my cherry tomatoes formed fruit last winter without my making any efforts regarding pollination. There was a small fan running 24/7 in the greenhouse, and, of course, just tending to the plants "shakes" them a little bit. Perhaps some varieties are just easier than others.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 1:44AM
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jimmydo2(z9 Calif)

I thought that even if a Plant was.
"self-fertile and self-pollinating.", you still need to get the pollen from one flower to another somehow...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 3:01AM
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nathanhurst(VIC Aust)

jimmy, I think self-pollinating means that after a certain period of time the flower closes down and fertilises itself. self-fertile means that a single plant can provide the pollen and the egg.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 7:36AM
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ole_dawg(7 UpCountry SC)

Well you have just taken a load off my mind. So I don't have to worry about the tomatoes being beeless? Why shake them? Is that enough to send the pollen into the air? Just curious about that. The rest of the stuff going in there does not require pollenizing (SP)Lettuce and Microgreens.
Thanks for the info
1eyedJack and the Dawg

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 11:09PM
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stressbaby(z6 MO)

So I don't have to worry about the tomatoes being beeless? - no

Why shake them? Is that enough to send the pollen into the air? - yep


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 7:33AM
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I have two cherry tomato plants but one got late blight so i quarantined that ass with the quickness. but my last plant which is marvelous is in a deep water culture has many flowers but they keep falling off! i have made a buzz-pollinator out of a vibrating razor handle and a toothbrush head. I've also made a centrifugal dremmel out of a cap on the end of the dremmel with a spinning cotton swab in the middle. But theres been some freakishly hot weather since the flowers opened! anybody have an idea where to buy pollen perhaps? or any surefire over-the-top ways to make this work(cooling methods, trapping a bumblebee in my room for the day)? I dont want the past 80 days to be for nothing. The mornings have been about 80F reaching 93F noon.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:10PM
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