We know pollination is essential to the success of our harvests, but what if your plants are inside a greenhouse? Greenhouse growing offers many perks, but sometimes pollinators can’t easily access the crops. Plants are protected from the wind, which also helps with pollination. And, the humidity factor plays a role, making pollen spores cling together and less likely to spread. So, how do you encourage pollination inside your greenhouse or covered growing space?
Release The Bees!
Commercial greenhouse growers don’t typically have this issue, as many of them release bees and other beneficial insects into the space to help with natural pollination.
While we hobby growers can purchase boxes of bees and do the same thing, in a small space, releasing a bunch of bees might be more trouble than it’s worth!
Invite Pollinators Inside
Inviting pollinators into the greenhouse can’t be overlooked. I keep the Dutch door of my greenhouse open throughout the day to cool things down inside and allow the breeze to move the plants around. Leaving the door open also means pollinators can let themselves in.
I have bright, beautiful flower pots on either side of my greenhouse door to encourage bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to drop by.
Once they’re close to the door, I hope they catch a glimpse of the nasturtiums I’ve planted with my tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers growing inside.
I also have two massive pots of blood-red geraniums at the back of the greenhouse, so they feel more inclined to do a tour of my indoor growing space.
Ensuring you have a mix of flowers and food crops is a great way to welcome pollinator friends into the greenhouse!
Hand pollination helps the crops in my greenhouse along.
Plants like tomatoes, peppers, beans, and eggplants have both male and female flowers and are easier to pollinate.
On my daily walks through the greenhouse, I like to give those plants a gentle shake so the pollen can spread and fertilize the flowers. I already see the rewards with lots of fruit!
Other plants, such as squash, cucumbers, and melons need more help. This is where I turn to my trusty paintbrush to “paint” the pollen from one flower to another.
You’ll know these plants are ready for fertilization when the blossoms begin to open. You can also purchase electric pollinators, but a paintbrush or cue tip work just as well.
With a bit of help from us and nature, you can expect great results in the greenhouse!