Perfect Pollination

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender May 24, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

 

One of the greatest delights in the summer garden are home grown fruits. Many of the most delicious fruits quickly loose their texture and flavour,  so home grown are so much better than shop bought.

An important part of success in the fruit garden is pollination. Most pollination is carried out by a variety of insects, but the most important group are the bees. There are about 270 different species of bees in Britain but many of them are in decline. There are a number of factors involved in this decline, but what ever the reason, we need our bees and other insects to give us good crops. Our pollinators fly from plant to plant carrying pollen, this mixing or crossing of pollen is what gives a ‘good set’ this triggers the fruit to swell and grow into our juicy mature fruits. Poor setting leads to small, hard fruits and a reduced crop.

So how can we insure a good set and a good crop of fruits. The best way is by introducing flowering plants that bees and other pollinating insects find attractive. One favorite is herbs, Mints, Thyme, Lemon Balm and Hyssop are just a few of the herbs that produce flowers pollinators like, there are many more. Many of the daisy types of flowers are also good. Calendula, Cosmos, Malvia, Sunflower, Scabius, Poppies and hardy Geraniums produce lots of attractive pollen laden flowers.

You could introduce a patch of flowers or herbs into or near your fruit garden. I myself like to grow annuals and wild flowers underneath my fruit trees and have pots of flowers in and around my potted fruits.

The old style cottage garden flowers are some of the best, double flowers dont have any pollen to offer and neither do many of the summer bedding plants used liberally by our parks and councils. There are many sections in seed catalogues and seed stands that have a bee friendly selection.

So come on think of the pollinators and plant some bee friendly flowers and be rewarded by better crops and yields.

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