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.
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