Friday, March 17

Pollination without the buzz.

In our garden greenhouse are three large tubs each containing a fruit tree. They are a peach - Avalon Pride, an apricot - Flavourcot and a nectarine - Fantasia.
The tubs containing the trees were originally outdoors but after the first year, when we managed two delicious fruits from the peach tree, the peach and nectarine were so badly affected by peach leaf curl that they didn't manage a single fruit.
The apricot was unaffected by this problem but it generally flowers very early and so it seemed that it would be a good idea to move that indoors to to offer some protection.
This year all three trees are flowering at the same time. Last year the apricot was covered in flowers and produced a decent amount of fruit.
This year it has only a couple of small sprigs of flowers.
On the other hand the peach and nectarine are loaded with flower. The larger lovely pink flowers of the nectarine dominate the group.


The peach flowers are more delicate and less showy but viewed close up you can appreciate their beauty.



As the trees are indoors and often the greenhouse door is closed at this time of year, added to which the weather may not be conducive to encouraging insect pollinators to be out and about, I am giving nature a helping hand - literally.
Using a soft paintbrush I am trying to mimic bee action by gently brushing the pollen from one flower to another. The peach and nectarine have far too many flowers for me to make sure that I brush every flower but I am trying to visit as many flowers as possible.

One day when I was busy with my pretend bee a bumble bee joined me so maybe she will have dealt with the flowers that I missed.

I've added a short narrated video of my attempts at hand pollination. It's about two minutes long. I know some people enjoy watching videos and other don't so I am trying to cater for everyone and also get to play with video editing.  Does everyone sound weird when their voices are recorded? I should credit my cameraman, Martyn.



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

19 comments:

  1. Loved that video, you make an excellent bee! Good luck with the fruit! I lost my peach tree to leaf curl, such a shame. My apricot is flowering away outdoors, I wonder if I'll get any fruit.xxx

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    1. Good luck to you with your apricot, Dina.

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  2. Fruit trees seem to like a rest every now and then don't they. Loads of peach and nectarine blossom though, so fingers crossed it will be a good year.

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    1. Our plums seem to rest every other year too, CJ.

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  3. Maybe the bee mistook you for a real bee? You are getting too good at this..

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    1. I think in a pollination contest, the bee would win wings down, Jessica.

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  4. Fingers crossed for a bumper harvest of peaches & nectarines this year! My nectarine tree has yet to flower - we planted it 2 years ago so I'm hoping this is the year when we see some fruit - hopefully the weather cooperates. I would be thrilled with even a couple of nectarines. And yes, my voice sounds totally strange when recorded :)

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    1. I'd settle for a modest harvest, Margaret.

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  5. The blossom is beautiful with the fruit an added bonus. I once saw peach growing outside against a wall where they had hung a polythene sheet over it for protection against peach leaf curl.

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    1. We didn't fancy the polythene option, Brian especially when it was windy. Inside the greenhouse seemed the most straightforward option.

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  6. The Blossoms look lovely, hope you get some Peaches..
    Amanda xx

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  7. What a lovely greenhouse, full of beautiful Spring blossom. Looks like you may well get a lot of nectarines again this year!

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    1. It would be nice just to get a handful of fruit, Belinda

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  8. Great little video Sue...as for 'Does everyone sound weird?' I always think I do but apparently we hear ourselves differently to other people due to natural vibrations caused as we speak.

    Enough of the history lesson. Shame you live so far away. If you were nice and close I could bring a bee hive along for a couple of days and let them loose inside to pollinate the greenhouse before moving them back home. It would give food to the bees and make sure every flower got pollinated. Know any local beekeepers Sue?? If so..no harm in asking!

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    1. Should have said 'Science lesson'...I never got on well in history..lol

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    2. Oh dear does that mean that I actually sound like that. I once left a voice message on our answerphone for Martyn and whenI listened to it I thought it was my sister!

      I don't know of any local bee keepers but I think the optimum pollination time has passed now. I guessed that you meant science. I didn't like history at school as it was taught in such a boring way. I enjoyed teaching it though

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    3. I can't stand the sound of my own recorded voice. Having recently acquired one, with dramatic results, I am advocating Willow 'Kilmarnock' to attract bees at this time of year. The catkins are irresistible to bees and are out now. On the other hand I appreciate that greenhouse space is at a premium, so perhaps a potted specimen you could move into the greenhouse just at this time of year.

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    4. The problem is more the bees getting in, Mal as the greenhouse tends to be closed. When the door is open some bumbles enter and do their stuff but I don't want to just rely on them

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