Hand Pollination is Essential In Urban Terrace Gardening
Do your vegetable plants produce an enormous amount of flowers but very little develop into fruits and flower drop is seen. This is a common problem, most of urban gardeners face now days. It is due to pollination.
What is pollination? Pollination is a process of formation of fruits from flowers by transporting fertilized pollen grains from the antheridia to the stigma followed by process of fertilization and fruit formation.
Pollination is process of fertilization of flowers by insects or weather. The flower is bisexually (contains androecium i.e anther and gynoecium i.e stigma).
When the plant has unisexual flowers i.e contains separate male and female flower in a single plant and pollination doesn’t happen / take place by insects or weather. Therefore hand pollination is required.
We must observe the plants at the time of blooming, observe and identify male and female flowers. Restricted gardening spaces and balcony gardens in concrete city jungles exhibit one thing in common is that the lack of insect that forms the process of pollination and the insufficient amount of crosswinds resulting in lack of pollinators. Hence Hand pollination is required to fertilize the flower to convert into fruits.
Hand Pollination or Artificial Pollination is a technique used when natural pollination is insufficient without the help of insects and weather. Hand pollination is a manually process of pollinating the flowers to fertilize.
Hand pollination is a simple method of pollinating the plants by shaking the plant, tapping the male flower over female flower or using a brush or cotton swab to transfer the pollen grains to fertilize the plants to form a fruit until all the flowers in the plant have been pollinated.
Before learning the methods of hand Pollination, it is important to identify the male and female flower
Identification of Male Flower and Female Flower
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each flower grows into a delicious fruit?
To indentify the different flowers is really pretty easy.
Male and Female Flower- There’s a male flower and a female flower, in the same plant. The male flowers are at the apex or tip of the plant i.e upper region, the female flowers are lower region of the plant.
Female flowers usually grow close to the center of the plant. Check the base or stalk of the flower where flower meets the stem which has a tiny vegetable. Female flowers have a small swollen embryonic fruit at their base, which will grow into a fruit.
Male flowers are have a long stalks attached to the plant. Usually there are more male flowers than female and they begin to bloom earlier.
How to carry out Hand Pollination?
After identifying the male and female flower-
Gently cut the male flower off of the plant along leave. Remove or flip the petals off the male flower. Gently dust or tap the stamen from the male flower to the stigma on the female flower.
This method of hand pollination is carried out by a small brush or use cotton swabs. The brush or cotton swap should be dry and clean. Pollinate early in the morning and in dry conditions. Identify the male and female flower. Use the brush or cotton swab to gently touch and collect the stamen of the male flower on it. Carefully transfer the pollen grains collected on the brush or cotton swab onto the stigma of the female flower.
Tip – Hand pollinate every day till you see the fruit.
Use this method to hand pollinate all the creepers and gourds.
Why hand pollination required?
You should probably hand pollinate if
- You don’t see bees or other insects around your garden.
- You’re growing in balconies, greenhouse.
- Your plants produce fruit but dies before maturing.
- Even with pollination activity by the insects or bees or weather, you may consider hand pollinating because off early fruit setting.
Hand pollination is necessary for the setting of the fruits in vegetable gardening. Without it, flowers will not turn into fruit where insects and weather condition are unfavourable.