Baby Bumblebee

I’m bringin’ home my baby bumblebee,
won’t my Mama be so proud of me?

I’m bringin’ home my baby bumble bee,
Ouch! It stung me.

BumbleBeeThe Hurricane, loves, loves, loves, the bumblebee song. If you aren’t familiar with the masterpiece,  count your blessing. It’s an earworm. She also spent the better part of a year as a Bumblebee at school. Which means she’s kinda’ fascinated (AKA obsessed) by them.

You know, like other gardeners in POD-land. It was a relief to see this fuzzy guy, as bees have been a little scarce this summer and hand pollination can be a drag. While there are only a couple female blossoms on the poor cucumber, at least they’ll get some attention.

 

Cucumber Obsessions

Female True Lemon Cucumber
Lady Lemon

May and early June are the happiest weeks on deck. Everything looks hale and hearty and the diseases, fungi, and mildew have yet to descend. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

These Happy Cat true lemon cucumbers are full of blossoms and in years past, POD simply trusted bees to do their pollinating thing. Alas, that didn’t work out so well last year. We had a few cucumbers, but not nearly enough. Cucumbers that aren’t pollinated properly will not mature or will develop into misshapen, malformed fruits.

Male True Lemon Cucumber
Hey, Handsome

To produce healthy cucumbers, the pollen from the male blossom needs to make its way to the female flower. Sounds easy, but when your city garden lacks the required bee presence, you’ll need to lend a hand. Many gardeners use the paint brush trick, but after trying out both methods, POD’s found that applying the male blossom directly to the female appears to be more productive and efficient. Male True Lemon Cucumber Pollen

Simply pluck the male flower from the vine and gently pull the petals back, exposing the pollen-y center. Carefully touch the center of the male flower to the center of your female flower.

Await the cucumber. Hand Pollinating True Lemon CucumberHand Pollinating True Lemon Cucumber