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When we talk about hydroponics to people, the first thing that comes to mind is pollination in a hydroponic system. This post explains the finest practices for pollination in hydroponics and how to choose the appropriate pollination technique for your hydroponic setup.
What Is Pollination, and Why Is It Important in Hydroponics?
Pollination is the process by which pollen from the male organ or stamen of a flower is transferred to the female organ or pistil.
In hydroponics, pollination is important for two reasons:
- To ensure that the flowers on your plants are pollinated and produce fruit.
- To ensure that the pollen from one type of plant is not transferred to a different kind of plant, which could result in cross-pollination and genetic contamination.
What Are the Hydroponic Pollination Methods?
There are several methods of pollination that can be used in hydroponics: Hand pollination, pollination with a vibrating pollinator, or pollination with a fan. Each method has its pros and cons, so it is important to choose the right pollination system for your setup.
- Hand pollination is the simplest and most common method of pollination in hydroponics. It involves manually transferring pollen from the male organ to the female organ using a brush or cotton swab. This method is easy to use and relatively inexpensive, but it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
- Pollination with a vibrating pollinator is a more efficient method than hand pollination. It involves using a device that vibrates to transfer pollen from the male organ. This method is faster than hand pollination and can be less labor-intensive, but it can be more expensive. The vibrator is available to buy on Amazon. Check its features using this affiliate link.
- Pollination with a fan is the most efficient method of pollination in hydroponics. It involves using a fan to blow pollen from the male organ to the female organ. This method is fast and effective, but it can be more little expensive as you need a fan.
Are All Hydroponic Plants Required for Pollination?
No, not all plants in a hydroponic system are required to be pollinated. However, pollination is an essential part of hydroponics and should not be overlooked. By following the best practices, you can ensure that your plants are appropriately pollinated and produce high-quality fruit.
What Are the Hydroponic Plants Not Required to Be Pollinated?
- The vast majority of leafy greens, herbs, and other plants that are grown for their leaves are not required to be pollinated. These include lettuce, kale, spinach, chard, arugula, basil, oregano, thyme, mint, and many others.
- Celery, onions, and leeks
- Brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kohlrabi
- Root veggies and tubers: carrots, parsnips, salsify, potatoes, sweet potatoes, horseradish, beets, turnips, rutabagas
- Legumes: peas and beans
So long as these plants are receiving the proper nutrients and lighting, they will do just fine without pollination.
What Hydroponic Plants Require Pollination, and How Can You Go About Accomplishing It?
Fruiting plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, berries, watermelons, and squash require pollination to produce fruit. These plants have flowers that must be pollinated for the plant to set fruit.
How do pollinate them?
Hand pollination or Pollination with a vibrating pollinator
Melons – by hand/vibrator
cucumbers – by hand/vibrator
Blueberries (Need cross-pollination) – by hand/vibrator
Squashes – by hand/vibrator
Tomatoes- by hand/vibrator/fan (Read: Growing Hydroponic Tomatoes Without Pollination if you are trying an alternative way)
Eggplant- by hand/vibrator/fan
Peppers- by hand/vibrator/fan
Corn- by hand/vibrator/fan
How to Choose the Right Pollination System for Your Hydroponic Farm?
The best pollination system for your hydroponic farm will depend on several factors, including:
- The type of plants you are growing
- The type of hydroponic system
- The size of your farm
- Your budget
We’ve looked at how pollination techniques vary depending on the sort of plants you’re growing in previous sections.
If you are using a small hydroponic system, hand pollination may be the best option.
If you are using a more extensive hydroponic system, pollination with a vibrating pollinator or pollination with a fan may be the best option.
If you have a large farm with a large budget, pollination with a fan may be the best option.
No matter what method of pollination you choose, it is important to remember that pollination is an essential part of hydroponics and should not be overlooked. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your plants are properly pollinated and produce high-quality fruit.
Thank you for reading!
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