Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hand pollinating a cucumber flower

The female flowers on the Spacemaster cucumber plant are starting to be fully developed, and if I want cucumbers I have to pollinate them.

To pollinate the plant, I remove a male flower from the plant, and cut the petals from the flower. Holding the flower by the base, I transfer pollen from the anthers of the male flower to the pistil of the female flower. It is much the same as using a small brush; simply make light contact and gently rotate the male flower.

If I have enough male flowers, I will transfer pollen as long as the petals remain open and on the female flower.

Two flowers were pollinated yesterday, and I think the operation was a success, as the small fruit buds are beginning to grow larger.

Time will tell....

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