This past week, one of our customers explained that her squash plant had great foliage and lots of blooms, but it was not producing any squash. This can often be attributed to a watering or fertilizer issue, but sometimes you might have a pollination problem. So, what’s the solution?
Bees! Bees are the best pollinators, and they are the reason many of your veggies are able to produce. Bees move pollen back and forth between male and female flowers on your plants. The transfer of pollen fertilizes the female flower allowing the plant to fruit.
The best way to attract these powerful pollinators to your garden is to plant pollinizer plants. Here are some of our favorite plants to bring home the bees:
- Magic Mountain Basil or Thai Basil: excellent varieties for cooking and irresistible to bees!
- Dwarf Calliandra (powder puff plant): popular landscape shrub that has beautiful “powder puff” blooms.
- Mystic Spires Salvia: long purple spires that attract a variety of pollinators to the garden including bees and hummingbirds.
- Alyssum: low- growing annual with purple or white blooms and a lovely fragrance that’s attractive to humans and bees.
Pro tip: On occasion, the bees can miss some plants. You can “false pollinate” your plants with a Q tip or a small paint brush. Lightly brush inside the male flower, then brush inside the female flower to help transfer pollen.