Gardentalk – ‘You can be the bee’

Sugar pie pumpkin flowers close up at the first drops of rain on August 15, 2019.
Sugar pie pumpkin flowers close up at the first drops of rain on Aug. 15, 2019. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

In this week’s edition of “Gardentalk,” Master Gardener Ed Buyarski explains what gardeners can do to help with pollination, especially if bees and other insects are not around.

“We would like to have warm and sunny weather so the insects are more active,” Buyarski said.

If vegetable plants and berry bushes are blooming during wet or cool weather, then Buyarski said there may not be that much natural pollination happening.

He suggests moving pollen from one plant to another plant of a similar variety.

Some plants like beans, peas and tomatoes pollinate themselves. Others, like squash, have male and female flowers. There are also other plants, like kiwi, which require pollination between separate male and female plants.

“You can actually tear off those plant (flowers) and in your greenhouse and you can be the bee,” Buyarski said, explaining how the male flowers can be dabbed on the female flower pistils for pollination.

Listen to the Aug. 15 segment of “Gardentalk” about pollination.

Do you have a garden question for Ed? Fill out the form below, and he’ll answer your question in an upcoming segment.

Listen to past episodes and subscribe to the podcast on the “Gardentalk” page, so you’ll never have to worry about missing Thursday’s live radio broadcasts.

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