Pollination is essential to the garden if you want to have fruit. The harvest passes by. But it’s not that simple… Depending on the plants, you need bees, pollinating insects, wind… And suitable climatic conditions…
So how does this story work? Pollination is the process by which pollen from the stamens (male part) of a flower is transferred to the pistil (female part) of the same flower or another flower of the same species.
So far so good, is that clear? Pollen can be carried by the wind, insects, birds, bats or other pollinating agents. And these different “techniques” depend on the plant. Some have their own pollinator. And these plants will not produce fruit if you separate one from the other. This was the case with vanilla at the start of its cultivation.
Pollination is essential for the reproduction of flowering plants. When the pollen lands on the stigma (upper part) of the pistil, it germinates and begins to grow in the style (middle part) until it reaches the ovum (lower part) where it fertilizes the female gamete to form a seed.
In short, it works a bit like our own mode of reproduction…
To have fruit, you need flowers. But it is not finished. The flowers must be fertilized to give rise to a fruit. So if you want vegetables and fruits in the garden, pollination is essential!
For the plum trees?
I’m talking about plum trees because we have a very pretty one in the garden that blooms a little before the others.Most varieties of plum trees are self-sterile, they need another tree of the same species for cross-pollination and fruit production. This means that it is important to plant at least two compatible varieties of plum trees close to each other to ensure adequate pollination.Plum blossoms are very attractive to bees because of their abundant nectar and pollen. Bees visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen, and in doing so they transfer pollen from one flower to another, thus ensuring pollination.Provided that the flowers arrive at the same time… If one is early and the other late, we cannot count on it. Fortunately, the bees roam for 4 kilometers around and can come across pollen from my neighbour’s plum tree!It’s not won it’s your business!!!
And then the rain?
Well let’s admit, you did everything well: planted plum trees that bloom at the same time, facilitated the presence of bees and pollinators with, for example, the installation of a beehive. And besides, your neighbors also have plum trees. Everything should be fine.Well no… Pollen dripping can occur in plum trees during flowering with spring rains. Sag occurs when plum blossoms are exposed to cool, humid temperatures during bloom, which can lead to blossom abortion.When it rains during plum blossom, the raindrops can burst the pollen grains, preventing pollination. In addition, bees and other pollinating insects are less active in rainy weather, reducing the amount of pollen carried from flower to flower.You think, the bees only come out if the temperatures are above at least 10°. Below, no one to do the job.To minimize the effect of pollen dripping, it is best to choose a sheltered location. When planting them, we will choose a sunny location and a little less exposed to the wind. It can play a few degrees and that’s important. Of course, everything depends on the weather. If the spring is very rainy and cool, you will have a much lower production. And there, we don’t have much to do, except to see the damage!
Spring frost is another weather factor that can have a negative impact on mirabelle plum production. If temperatures drop below freezing during flowering, it can damage flowers and flower buds, preventing fruit formation. Frost damage can be particularly severe if flowering is early and temperatures drop sharply.Hey, here’s the problem! Early trees… When choosing a plum tree, if you live in the Vosges like me, avoid choosing a variety whose flowers come quickly in the spring. In addition to being out of step with the others, the flowers freeze and it is the impasse on the fruits. Talk about an advantage…So we’re happy with a beautiful bloom, that’s already good 🤣