Thoughts and musings
Lewis | February 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
What can you do for your garden? In this blog post, we will be exploring the idea of encouraging pollination of plants, to enable fertilisation, and therefore reproduction in plants, i.e. making more of them! Whether it be for vegetables for human consumption, or flowers for aesthetic purposes, encouraging pollination is highly recommended. In certain cases, the production and pollination of certain flowers should be avoided; this is necessary when vegetables are grown for their leaves, roots and/or bulbs, such as lettuce, onions and beetroots respectively. However, this blog will focus entirely on encouraging pollination, rather than discouraging it. A comprehensive list of plants where pollination is indeed discouraged can be found here, originally from the website of Horticulture Magazine.
There are a number of different methods designed to encourage the pollination of plants, according to growveg.com; the article on which this blog post is based around can be found here. The first tip on offer is to plant a wide range of flowers. Lavender, Sunflower and Geranium, along with a number of others, are particularly useful in attracting insects to your garden, mainly bees, who pollinate as a natural function!
However, in some cases, relying on insects to do the job for you will not always yield the greatest results, so therefore, pollinating by hand may be necessary. The can be a monotonous task, but it can help go that extra step to help pollination, and therefore, the next generation of plant-life. For example, certain vegetables such as kiwi fruit and aubergine are difficult to pollinate, so human intervention may be needed to even the odds. Pollinating by hand can also prevent cross-pollination; it may be essential for some plant species, but it can also feasibly produce an inedible hybrid of two fruit! Furthermore, hand pollination also helps the sad reality of pollinator decline, where the number of pollinators in an ecosystem is decreasing, and with it commonly noted that up to a third of human nutrition is due to bee pollination, any help at all can benefit!
Finally, problems with poor pollination will also exist, but there are things that you can do to help lessen the effects of Mother Nature. For example, a poor number of insects can be counteracted by opening the doors to your greenhouse. In addition, a dry atmosphere can be avoided by placing a bucket of water in your greenhouse to increase the humidity. Not only this, a late frost can ruin any crop; spraying them with cold water slows down the rate at which the crop warms, allowing a gentle thawing process.
We hope you enjoyed this article, but please remember that this list isn’t exhaustive; if you have any others tips on how to encourage pollination please leave a comment in the section below, or check out the hyperlink inserted above. Better still, tell us your tips by posting to us on Facebook (Oakleigh Manor) or Tweeting us on, of course Twitter (@Oakleigh_Manor)!