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Timing of cross pollination/hand pollination

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  • Timing of cross pollination/hand pollination

    There is clear advice for handpollinating squash (or crossing squash). Do it after the cold of the morning when the dew has dried up but before the heat of the day because pollen is only alive for a relatively short amount of time. This advice mainly hails from the USA where of course generally the summer days are hotter than in UK. I found the reverse, some days it seems to be too cold for pollen in UK and whilst the plants must be pollinated on the day the flowers open, it is possible to have poor pollination due to cool weather. My squash handpollinations are always more successful in the warmer greenhouse or earlier in the season at the height of summer, rather than in early autumn. Unfortunately it is in early autumn when many more flowers are being produced.

    I wonder whether there are similar 'rules' for pea pollen. Should we make crosses before midday when it is a hot day? I have heard of pollen drying out, but not whether this happens in UK and when. Was it a mistake to make my pea crosses yesterday early afternoon when it was quite hot outside?

    As it is still so early in the pea flower season, the actual blossoms were a dream to work with. They were very large and easy to open without damage. Gets much more fiddly later in summer. Also the pollen does not get shed until the buds are fairly large. In summer I need to go for much less mature tiny buds to avoid opening them and seeing that pollen has already been shed, which makes a flower no longer suitable for crossing.

  • #2
    I found lack of sunshine and damp days had a big impact on pollen quality even with flowers taped up. Also once a fruit has already set on the plant it becomes ever harder to get more fruit to set! But then they abort their first fruit and you haven't hand-pollinated subsequent fruit!!!!!

    I haven't hand-pollinated peas for a few years but found they held well from both morning and afternoon/evening pollination. though I probably did more afternoon onwards. So I don't think they are so sensitive to time of day. Catching the flowers at the ideal moment can be more problematic if you only have a very few to work with. Have you a favourite time now?

    I know a little late, but I hope your crossings went well

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    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Not this year, not a single one took. Ah well. Two years ago lots took and I have so many to grow out that it was probably just as well they did not work this year. There is something that always jinxes the cross between Elisabeth and Court Estate Gold. So this is a projected cross (your suggestion Jayb if I remember right) for yet another year

  • #3
    Ah yes, it's one I think would be super

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      And I would be honoured to send you some seeds when it finally works.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      They will happen.
      Now that will be some project together. thank you.
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