Todays This Land of Ours program Cathy Isom gives you a few tips about how to increase your harvest using your own hands.
When our plants are having a little bit of trouble bearing fruit, even if the flowers bloom, it could be a sign that they need a little help from us in the form of hand pollination. Many gardeners use manual pollination to increase the likelihood of pollinating their plants, especially if bees might be lacking in their area.
Some plants that might need a lending hand from you, include egg plants, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, strawberries, melons, and zucchinis, just to name a few.
Gather up a small paintbrush, or some q-tips, and some rubbing alcohol. Take your cotton swab or paintbrush and find a male flower on your plant. Male flowers have long stems at the base of the blossoms rather than bulbs. Put your brush inside of the flower and remove some pollen from the stamen, which is right in the middle of the blossom. Now, find a female flower, which has bulbs at the bottom of the blossom rather than a stem. This will become the fruit after it’s pollinated. Take the pollen on your brush and transfer it to the pistil in the middle of the female flower. Another option is to remove the male flower from the plant entirely and rub the flowers together or shake pollen into the female flower.
Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours Report.