Today, I did some pollinating. My Peach tree is in full flower, with not a single bee in sight. So I did the only thing I could do in the circumstances and got out my paint-brush for a spot of hand pollination. It was quite relaxing really, dusting the pollen from the stamen to the stigma (the only Biology lesson where I totally listened). Dibbing here and dabbing there – yes very satisfying. Of course the Victorian country gardeners would traditionally have done this with a rabbit’s tail fastened to a long stick. But, hmm rabbit’s tail? Where do you find one of those? And don’t say on the end of a rabbit – come on, whaddya expect, I’m vegetarian!
Of course, no sooner had I finished hand pollinating my Peach tree and cursing the bees for being so tardy, then along comes one, bold as brass and does the job for me in one quick in and out. That put me in place, didn’t it?
I must hand pollinate my poytunnel strawberries – they are self-fertile but still need the pollen moved from and to the relevent bits. I wonder if it would work with sheep’s wool. It might be better than a kid’s chunky paintbrush I think.
Maybe he was just welcoming you into the bee fraternity, LOL
Beauty of a day to have to do this! I’ve been thinking of getting some mason bee homes and scattering them around my yard. They are very busy little guys- even in the rain! Happy spring to you!
I was just at a bee seminare (we’re getting a hive this year) and they said that on certain plants bees only visit for an hour and only during a specific period when the pollen & nectar levels are highest. Perhaps you were just too early!
Is your peach tree early this year or does it always flower at the same time?
I see you have cane trained it into a fan against wall mounted wires. Presumeably this is a nice warm wall?
We have done the same to an apricot, but it is some way behind your peach.
Our peaches aren’t blooming yet… But like David@quest guessed, that might be related to the warm spot against a south-facing wall.
It’s not a good climate for peaches here, either…
Your peach is far more advanced than the one growing in my London garden. However, there are lots of just opening buds on it – could be a good crop as long as peach leaf curl doesn’t hit the plant again.
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