It’s that time of year again, when my Peach tree is in full flower with not a flying insect in sight. I’m not sure why nature does this. It’s clearly not optimal to base the whole of your future existence on one short week in the Spring when the ‘one vital tool you need to reproduce’ hasn’t even hatched yet.
So… it’s a good thing that I’m around with my long paintbrush. If I didn’t dab each flower and transfer the pollen from one flower to the next my Peach tree would no-doubt be barren. As it is last year, together, we achieved almost 100 per cent pollination. Hooray!
Let’s see if we can do it again.
My gran used to do this… she used a cat’s tail (still attached to her very much alive cat!)
We’ve got bumble bees galore already in Edinburgh. I counted five yesterday. I can’t recall seeing them so early before.
Try growing a flowering currant nearby – ours is covered in bees. It is so noisy when we sit by it.
We too have big fat bumble bees in Norfolk – amazing! Good luck with your Peach tree, as a gardening novice (although I hope to change that fact shortly) I didn’t even realise that you could do this – fascinating! I love your blog, it’s among the few that are actually inspiring me to get out into the garden to start digging/planting!
Not a single insect? I can hardly believe it…
We “added” 5 beehives to our kitchen garden last year and they are very much flying around with the soaring temperatures. And we also spotted many bumble bees already. But: they start the new season in the direct neighbourhood of their hive, and then gradually move further till they are at their normal radius of approx. 3 kms. Could it be that you live quite far away from any “(bumble) bee housing”. And if so could you not lure a beekeeper to put a hive in nearer by; this is possible as long as there is enough food (also think about trees etc.) to feed on.
Wish you good luck.
Can you send more bees my way! I have nothing else flowering in the garden so if they miss the Peach then I’m doomed. My currants are not flowering yet and the Pear tree is ready to flower but they haven’t quite opened.
Do you ever try and cross them to grow on the seed?
Oh great that you posted this or I’d have forgotten to polinate my peach tree. Funny thing is, I have an almond and a nectarine as well, all three are flowering profusely but hardly a bee or bumblebee anywhere near them, although they are all over the primroses?? Now why is that?
Peaches, almonds etc come from the near east where it is much warmer when they begin to flower and there are plenty of insects about to pollinate them, up here in northern
Europe the trees may flower before the insects are about and we have to hand pollinate to ensure a good crop. It might also be necessary to protect the flowers from frost too, as the flowers are not frost hardy due to having evolved in areas which don’t get spring forsts as often as we do.
To me this is one of the more refined parts of gardening and an essential one if you want a good crop. I see you have a nice warm wall to help you too and south facing no doubt.
Hand pollinating is pretty interesting. It’s nice to know you have done it successfully. Thanks for sharing this one.. I;ve enjoyed reading your blog. :)