How To Hand Pollinate

https://www.flickr.com/photos/yonat/6903610998/in/photolist-bw3P2Q-QL5zn-6KFZNc-cW8TPb-TkaJb-7Eskrk-53RpJL-bJXzLz-XLPvf-rggPA6-7rXEDR-9ZaaWh-9Z7hnR-6AF1vS-qTkGXx-NEGha-aBCcUG-5iTxuz-cVUmF3-CtCRJ-bfk7k6-qdY1B8-pf4Ln9-9Zfq3W-6KFZBp-6KL66A-nZSB8-wsZzP-5fqYj5-bmZ8A-qTbtcW-6AFthd-9LRzpB-7rYUQe-ZJSyv-9Vx5oX-9Zacuw-9Z7tBp-ZJStK-NYNrt-Sz2bZ-QJUHQ-dRZgN8-iNZY2B-7GnZJr-9vqtLw-r8tf7C-2iVkN8-8KdUmY-8YQTkE

 

Everyone who grows squash or any cucurbit vegetables has felt the agony when a female flower has failed to pollinate and then shrivels on the vine. This happens more that it should with the decline in bee population. Well you don’t have to leave it to mother nature. You can hand pollinate yourself.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kiry/2827864157/in/photolist-5iTxuz-cVUmF3-CtCRJ-bfk7k6-qdY1B8-pf4Ln9-9Zfq3W-6KFZBp-6KL66A-nZSB8-wsZzP-5fqYj5-bmZ8A-qTbtcW-6AFthd-9LRzpB-7rYUQe-ZJSyv-9Vx5oX-9Zacuw-9Z7tBp-ZJStK-NYNrt-Sz2bZ-QJUHQ-dRZgN8-iNZY2B-7GnZJr-9vqtLw-r8tf7C-2iVkN8-8KdUmY-8YQTkE-2iZKKd-2zugaV-9LRRBv-a4wzPf-2m4Ai8-yP2KDY-eEHir1-5RM7f4-bfk7DZ-bfk7YM-bfk73c-2m4zxc-wwcAMC-DUgcLN-xqTQ9N-JCgee-xbARqW
photo by: kirybabe

Here is the steps we will need to follow to pollinate cucurbit ourselves.

Find the pollen.  Look for a yellowish or greenish powder on the ends of the anthers.  These are the male stalks that stick out of the center of the male flowers.

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Photo by: Nadia Talent

Use a sterile cotton swab or a soft watercolor paintbrush to gently wipe some of the pollen off the anthers and onto the swab or brush.

Move to the female flower and gently tap the pollen onto the flower’s stigma.  Make sure some pollen sticks to the stigma.

Keep repeating the process until all the female flowers are pollinated.  This may take a little extra effort but it should be worth it by the number of vegetable that will develop.

 

Check out the next page for more information on how to hand pollinate

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