How Our Vegetables Are Pollinated

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Looking around the garden on this wet warm morning I’m checking in on my vegetables. The pea plants have now almost finished producing flowers. Emerging from these flowers come the pods that produce fantastically sweet peas, however I have noticed a few flowers at the base of the plant but I will be amazed if anything comes from them, I’ll give them a chance and leave them in place.

Self-pollinating.

 

Moving on I come upon my super sweetcorn plants. How happy am I with these? Having never grown these before I am so happy with the way they have come on over the months, beginning in the green house until the frosts of early spring had finished then planting out once they had grown to about 4 to 5 inches. Now each plant has produced a cob which I am looking forward to harvesting when the time is right.

    

Wind pollinated.

 

Potatoes are nearly ready, having grown them in a potato sack. I haven’t tried yet to dig any out but the foliage beginning to wilt and yellow so maybe need to wait another week or so before they are dug up.

Pollinated by honey bees and solitary bees

 

I have taken up some onions and they are under cover drying out. I have plenty more to take up but are not quite ready, as with the potatoes I am waiting for the foliage to wilt before I take them up and it gives them a little more time to increase their size…. hopefully!

Pollinated by honey bees, solitary bees, blow flies

 

Lettuce leaves are doing a treat. I had kept these in the greenhouse to begin with but then took the advice of Alan Titchmarsh and planted them out into a wooden frame and they are doing great. You can cut what you need from these and they will produce new leaves, so continuous salad leaves throughout the summer months.

Pollinated by honey bees

 

There is one courgette plant that I managed to save from the demise of the snails earlier on. I had 4 that germinated but 3 where swiftly eaten up while in their early stages. I didn’t have much hope for it to be honest but it is coming on and has quite a few flowers ready to emerge.

Pollinated by bumble bees

 

Last of all are the tomato plants. I have some plants in the greenhouse and some outside in the garden, all are producing plenty of flowers and both those in the greenhouse and those that are in the garden have tomatoes now on them.

  

Pollinated by bumble bees and solitary bees.

All grown organically, just with some help from our pollinators.

 

Most crop plants are pollinated by insects or wind. Many agronomic crops, such as wheat and corn, rely on wind pollination. In contrast, many fruits and vegetables require or benefit from insect pollination. Common insect pollinators include bees, butterflies and flies. Of these pollinators, bees are the most important in home gardens.

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