Blossoms falling off bean plants

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 …

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Squash and Cross Pollination

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 …

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Watermelons and Cross Pollination

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, …

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How are beans pollinated?

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 …

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Monoecious Cucumbers

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, …

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Death of the Honey Bees

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 …

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