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Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

Posted by simplyoranges 9b (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 30, 12 at 8:12

These female blooms (imperial 45 cantaloupe) were hand pollinated using the paintbrush method a 1-3 days ago.They don't seem to be swelling up and some of them look like they are "yellowing".

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Photobucket

Photobucket


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

the first pic looks like a male flower and the flower in the back ground looks like a female. are you sure whats what?


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

Well, they are both females. That's what I'm trying to say. The ovaries aren't setting. The one in front was pollinated a few days ago, and since has been struggling. how long does it take for them to start getting bigger?


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

You are getting the pollen off a male flower to use, right? Preferably from a second plant, if possible.


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

Yes.


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

Read the FAQ here about 'Blossom Drop". Temperature range determines whether the pollen is viable or not (other causes too but that is the main one) and when it isn't it doesn't matter how much you hand pollinate.

Then there is time of day to hand pollinate - early AM when the bloom first opens. Later in the day after it has been exposed to air, wind, and insects is usually much less successful.

Then there is the age and over all health of the plant issues - immature or stressed plants simply abort (turn yellow and fall off) rather than allow fruit to set.

Then brush isn't as effective as using the bloom itself when it comes to pollen transfer.

Lastly, I'm not familiar with that particular variety but IME most melons do a good job of pollinating themselves if left alone while young. As they mature in mid-to late season hand pollinating is much more successful.

Dave


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

The first and 3rd images are of male flowers. The 2nd is a female. In other words,a female has the "baby" even before it's pollinated.


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

"The first and 3rd images are of male flowers. The 2nd is a female. In other words,a female has the "baby" even before it's pollinated."

Those are all female flowers. The first and third ones just died and fell off.


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

I've seen this happen in squash due to disease as well.


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

I think I may have found out the problem. I am doing crimson sweet watermelon also. When I compared flowers between the cantaloupe and the watermelon I realized a couple differences. First of all, the stamen on the male watermelon flower is much bigger. When I pollinated the female watermelon flower I could visually see all of the pollen going on the flower. With the cantaloupe flowers, I could not see this. Is it typical for cantaloupe flowers to have a smaller stamen and produce less pollen? If this is the case, how can I make sure that the flowers get pollinated?


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

Is it typical for cantaloupe flowers to have a smaller stamen and produce less pollen? If this is the case, how can I make sure that the flowers get pollinated?

Very typical for many things. Stamen size is variety related for most vegetables and fruits. As I mentioned above, much better results come from using the bloom itself to pollinate. Just snip off the male bloom, peel back the petals somewhat and stick the male bloom into the female bloom and leave it.

Assuming proper timing and pollen viability that is all you need to do.

Dave


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

Thank you. I did try using the entire flower, but i didn't actually leave it in there. I will give that a try next. I think I still have a lot of time to get this right. Central Florida growing season is pretty long. I just wish the cantaloupe foliage wasn't such a thick mess. The watermelon are so much easier to maintain (just untangled straight vines). Thanks again for the info.


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RE: Am I hand pollinating incorrectly?

If they still abort then there is something else wrong besides the pollinating methods. Blossom drop and fruit abortion are common problems with all fruiting vegetables and unrelated to hand pollination.

Dave


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