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Old 04-19-2012, 08:55 PM
Location: PRC
3,449 posts, read 3,503,480 times
Reputation: 3203


I realise this is a really strange post, but it is probably something you guys can help me with.

I live in a 12th floor apartment with an enclosed balcony and I want to grow marrow or squash. I realise they are large plants, but it is the pollination which I may have a problem with. I keep the windows covered to keep out the flies and stuff but I probably also need the insects to pollinate the plants I want to grow in the enclosed balcony.

I need to find out whether these marrow/squash/whatever are self-pollinating or if I can go round with a paintbrush and be a 'bee' and pollinate them myself with the paintbrush?

I also realise from basic biology, that the male bits and female reproductive bits may not be "ripe" at the same time, but at least I know which bits are which - and this may go some way towards a successful pollination !

As you can see I am not terribly good or experienced at growing stuff indoors but this is the only facility I have available to me at the moment, and I cannot really hang the trailers out of the window in case they fall on people's heads.

Thanks for any advice on this. :-)
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:13 PM
Location: Arizona
49 posts, read 66,259 times
Reputation: 56
I don't know about marrow, but squash for the most part needs 'help' to be pollinated if it's not accessible to bees. A soft paintbrush will work (make sure you know the difference between male/female, varieties will have specifically sexed flowers), and you need to work the pollination several times a week, if not every day.

I've been looking into greenhouse/aquaponics, which has similar limitations, so...yeah, you do want to help your plants along to ensure good production. As long as you don't overwhelm yourself with plants, though, you shouldn't have a problem with it, and it can be quite soothing/therapeutic

There are some varieties that apparently don't require pollination, if you'd rather not deal with it, but most of what you'll find in the stores will.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:08 AM
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
16,444 posts, read 13,570,949 times
Reputation: 72654
Don't you have problems caused by lack of air circulation? Are you using a fan?
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:42 AM
Location: PRC
3,449 posts, read 3,503,480 times
Reputation: 3203
Ok, thanks for the feedback. The ones I have at the moment are experimental ones from squash/pumpkin I have bought on the street. I have no idea whether they are GM's either but I assume that if they were GM'd then there would be no seeds or the seeds would be infertile and these have definitely grown!

The large grapefruit I have bought on the street have small seeds about the size of a match head so are probably GM'd but I dont think Monsanto has got as far as these pumkin things yet.

Do squash/pumpkin have male/female plants? If not then I definitely know which bits are which, so hopefully I will be dabbing my pollen in the right places!

I dont mind at all if I have to go around with a small paintbrush, thats fine and as you say, probably quite relaxing. I can give the extra plants to friends as they probably have gardens. :-)

Fans? well I have the window open most of the day due to the heat but there is the fly netting wich stops the insects. So probably dont need a fan. To be honest, the balcony is not that large 10 feet x 4 feet probably and so I dont think air circulation will be an issue.
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