Do you know how to pollinate cucumbers in a greenhouse? The problem is that insects have limited access to the enclosed area. The yield is particularly strongly reduced in varieties with differently-colored flowers.
How to solve the problem of pollination
Pollination of cucumbers in the greenhouse can be done in two ways - with the help of natural and artificial insemination.
It is not always possible to use insect labor in an enclosed space, however, it is quite possible to shift most of the labors on the movement of pollen onto them. At least, most of the summer in the premises of the greenhouse can be allowed in pollinators using the ventilation system.
Artificial pollination is necessary in the following cases:
- during the period of reduced insect activity;
- during breeding activities that require the exclusion of accidental fertilization;
- inability to provide pollinators access to the greenhouse.
The best option is natural pollination, the usual - a mixed version.
How to provide natural pollination
The best way to entrust pollination to insects is to start a hive with bees. This, of course, additional efforts, but you will be with cucumbers and honey. Many gardeners who take care of their business seriously, do just that. With proper care, the bees start flying very early. In central Russia, they can fly out during the flowering of willow and primroses, that is, in April. So to ensure pollination in this case is not a problem, the main thing is to place the hive in the right place in time.
If you do not want to mess around with hives, then there are several ways to use the environment to your advantage.
The more diverse the environment of the site where the greenhouse is located, the more pollinators will be on it. Where there is a lot of decaying organic matter, toxic chemicals are not used, and the earth is not digging up, not only bumblebees and wild bees can settle for permanent residence, but also all sorts of flies and bugs that feed on nectar and pollen, which causes them to fly from flower to flower.
Some gardeners resort to the formation of sweet baits. If you spray the plants with a solution of sugar (for 1 l of water 2 tbsp. L.), Then this will attract many lovers of nectar. True, in this case they will be tempted to collect sweetness from the leaves, and not from the flowers. However, in this way there is one feature. Bees have a good collective memory. They will remember the place where they were well treated, and will fly here regularly.
Areas where the earth is dug up can be a source of the appearance of various butterflies. However, they are not able to provide full pollination of a large number of cultivated plants. In addition, most of the larvae of these butterflies feed on these same plants.
It is best to settle in a hothouse nest of bumblebees or wild ground bees. However, this requires knowledge of their biology, patience and the transfer of part of the greenhouse space into an uncultivated category.
The heterogeneous environment at the site is always beneficial to the farmer. It supplies not only pollinators, but many small predators that inhibit the reproduction of herbivorous organisms.
If you decide to replace the bee, you can do it as follows:
- Find a male flower, carefully tear it off, bring it to the female flower and brush off the pollen on the pistil. At the same time, care must be taken to ensure that pollination actually occurs. The bee, due to its size, carries the pollen carefully and economically, but the big man will very quickly lose all the pollen. Arm yourself with a magnifying glass and periodically look at the male flower. If the pollen has already flown around, pick a new one.
- The whole pollen transfer procedure can be done with a soft artistic brush. Collect the pollen in a few waving movements, then place the brush in a porcelain, plastic or glass small vessel that protects against unnecessary loss of material. This brush can be pollinated by much more female flowers than one plucked male.
- Particularly valuable varietal plants, the genetic purity of which you strongly care about, must be protected from any random pollination from specimens belonging to other species. Isolation of varietal flowers is necessary even before their blooming, immediately after it becomes clear to which floor this species belongs. Wrap the desired flower in gauze, opening it only for the time of pollination or after the ovary has started to form. In this case, artificial pollination is best done with a torn flower. This procedure is resorted to in the event that they want to grow seed material.
Artificial pollination - the process is not very complicated, albeit troublesome.
However, he also has his subtleties. They are as follows:
- It is recommended to spend it in the morning, before the sun begins to drain the air. In case of cloudy weather, pollination is allowed at a later time.
- It is important to choose a period with about 70% humidity. If the air is more humid, the pollen clump together; if it is too dry, it may not germinate in the pistil.
- In order to preserve the genetic integrity of the varietal affiliation of the bush, it is necessary, first of all, to supply it with a label.
- Manual pollination is carried out a day after the full blooming of the flower. The result of your efforts can be seen already in 3 days. In the fertilized flower, the ovary will begin to grow rapidly.
- Do not forget to mark already pollinated flowers. Otherwise, you will spend too much time and money on the role of the bee. You can use, for example, marks made with watercolor paint or gouache. You can do it easier - tear the petal from the pollinated flower.
Thus, if you are interested in obtaining a crop, pollination of cucumbers in greenhouses should be in the nature of a mandatory procedure. When she goes into the habit, it does not seem so difficult.