Sympathy Planting and Vegetable Pollination

To set fruit curcurbit vegetables need help with pollination and you can do help to do this with sympathy and a fine brush or natures way.
Coloured veg plot

Interspersing flowers that attract bees and hoverflies amongst marrows, cucumbers and courgettes will help transfer pollen from male to female flowers. No more hand pollination required.

The organic gardens at Balmoral castle leave areas of natural grass and undisturbed land to help generate more insect and pollination life.

Courgette and Egg plant

Other Vegetable Pollination Tips

  • Wind pollinated crops like  Sweet corn should be planted in blocks of adjacent rows rather than one or two very long rows. High temperatures and drought should not interfere with the transfer of corn pollen but can prevent proper  fertilization resulting in poorly developed ears.
  • Beans, peas, and tomatoes use self-pollination where the transfer of pollen takes place within the individual flowers. You need to be sympathetic with damping the flowers in hot weather so that pollination is uniform or part of the crop will be lost.
  • Leaf vegetables do not need pollination. You do not want lettuce, beet or onions to bolt and flower as this spoils the vegetable.

Plants to Encourage Pollinating Insects

  • Comfrey, Thyme  and Borage
  • Foxgloves & Geranium
  • Calendula & Sunflowers
  • Poached Egg Plant Limanthes douglassii
  • Buddleia & Lavender

Read Pollinators for Green Gardening

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