One of the gardening problems I hear the most often is that a crop flowers but never gives any harvests.
This is often a pollination problem. Some crops need the help of pollinators to produce crops. The types of crops that need pollinators are called dioecious plants.
Plants that Need Pollinators Examples
These crops grow out of a flower only if it has been pollinated properly. Some of these you can do yourself and ‘be the bee’ with a paint brush, others you can take the male flower and move it to the female flower.
- Summer squash
- Winter squash
Image from Tower Garden
Monoecious Plants vs Dioecious Plants
The crops that self-pollinate have ‘perfect’ flowers, as in both male and female parts to reproduce (as in creating the crop you harvest). These crops are called monoecious plants.
Dioecious plants are other flowers that are ‘imperfect’ and need pollinators or wind to move the pollen from the male parts to the female.
You can encourage pollinators by creating a good ecosystem balance in your garden and by companion planting.
If you have a lack of pollinators the crops that do need pollination won’t produce anything!
Even with crops that are self-pollinating, attracting pollinators will still benefit your garden 🙂