Pollinating Strawberries, and Hand Pollination

Strawberries, while technically being self-pollinating, do benefit from some help. Many gardeners find that hand pollination of their strawberry plants produces a better yield.

There are several ways you can hand pollinate:
  • use a cotton swab, and gently wipe each flower (using the same swab for all)
  • use a soft clean paint brush and carefully brush the blossoms
  • gently shake the plant (this may not work for plants with flowers that don't have both male and female parts)
Hand pollination is commonly used in greenhouses in lieu of bees, and it's a useful tool to know about.

My strawberry plants are thriving, but as I write this, they're not producing the quantity of fruit that I would like. I have tried all sorts of things including watering more and trimming off the runners, but it hasn't really made a difference. The one thing I haven't tried yet is hand pollinating. Now I'm going to!

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