Blossoms falling off bean plants

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
Bean blossom drop can occur when temperatures stay consistently over 90 degrees and/or if the plants are stressed. There's not much you can do about the heat except wait it out. It may help to put a breezy row cover over them to provide some shade. The plants may start producing again when the weather cools down. Blossoms can also drop off if the plants are stressed from drought, wind, or low humidity. In addition to green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and squash , too, can suffer from blossom drop once the temperatures exceed 85 degrees. "High temperature interferes with pollination, resulting in blossom drop, crooked or deformed pods due to the lack of ovule development", writes Henry G. Taber, Iowa State University Extension Service vegetable specialist, in the article, "Green…
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Squash and Cross Pollination

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Squash, summer squash, and assorted veggies"][/caption] Summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins and gourds belong to the Cucurbita family. Members of this family may cross-pollinate with each other. (Insects can bring pollen from other plants to female flowers.) However, the first year of a cross, the resulting fruit is completely normal looking and tasting. Only the end result seed carries the crossed gene. So, if you saved the seed and planted it the following year, you might get something strange as a result. If you are growing plants to eat the fruit, you do not have to worry about cross-pollination in your home garden. More... Grow Your Own Food How are beans pollinated? Watermelons and Cross Pollination
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Watermelons and Cross Pollination

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
Do you have to separate watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) from other types of melons to keep them from cross-pollinating? No, other types of melons like cantaloupes or honeydew (Cucumis melo), and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) can all be grown close together without fear of crossing. However, each of these items will cross within their own species. So, if you wanted to save seeds from the fruit to plant next year, you would need to separate different varieties of watermelon from each other (or different varieties of melons or different varieties of cucumbers). When a cross does happen between two varieties within the same species, the resulting fruit that year is completely normal looking and tasting. Only the resulting seed carries the crossed gene. So, if you saved the seed and planted it…
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How are beans pollinated?

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="129" caption="Beans are self pollinating"][/caption] Do you want to save your own bean seeds for growing next year? Do you want to re-grow the same fabulous beans next year that you grew this year? It may not be as easy to do with any other plant than the "bean bunch"... ya know why? Beans are self-pollinating and rarely pollinated by insects. Bean flowers release pollen the night before the flowers open. The next day, as the flowers open, the anthers brush against the stigma and pollination occurs. So, even if you see insects on your open bean flowers, you can be fairly sure that pollination happened before the visitors arrived. For this reason, it is possible to grow bean varieties close together with little worry of cross-pollination…
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Monoecious Cucumbers

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
Cucumbers and other vine crops are monoecious. Monoecious plants have separate male and female flowers on the same plant. Male and female flowers are similar in appearance. However, the female flowers have small, immature fruits at their base. Pollen is transferred from the male to the female flowers by bees. When properly pollinated and fertilized, the female flowers develop into fruit. The first flowers to appear on cucumbers and other vine crops are male. Female flowers appear shortly after. Gynoecious varieties are special hybrids which produce predominantly female flowers. Seeds of a standard monoecious variety are commonly included in the seed packet to ensure adequate pollination. (The seeds of the monoecious variety may be dyed or placed in a separate packet.) Gynoecious varieties often outproduce standard varieties when a pollenizer…
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Death of the Honey Bees

Bees, Farm Animals, Food Supply, Organic Pest & Disease Control
This is a reprint of a comprehensive article by Brit Amos. It is a sobering essay on the effects modern technology and biological chemistry is having on our food supply. GMO Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North] America's crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize.[1] This essay will discuss the arguments and seriousness that affects the massive deaths and the decline of Bee colonies in North America. As well, it…
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