Even novice gardeners should know that vegetables are pollinated in one of two ways: self-pollination or cross-pollination. If you are a gardener with less experience, adding some self-pollinating plants in your garden can help increase overall productivity and yield, as they do not rely on insects or the wind for pollination.
Essentially, self-pollinating plants produce flowers that are fertilized by their own pollen, as they have both the male and female parts within the same flower. While cross-pollinating plants have flowers that require pollen from other flowers to fertilize seeds, typically with help from insects or the wind.
Popular and Easy Self-Pollinating Plants
Many popular veggies are actually self-pollinating plants, and gardeners can take comfort in the fact that they do not rely on external pollinators to fertilize and grow fruit. Consider adding these easy to manage self-pollinators to your garden that will grow all by themselves after planting from seed in raised garden beds.
Certain varieties of lettuce are self-pollinating, while there are also lettuce types that are cross-pollinated by insects or wind. They are easy to grow and ideal for smaller gardens, as well as in containers too.
Popular pepper varieties including chili peppers and bell peppers are in fact self-pollinating vegetables. Add these to your garden to enhance the color and flavor of your produce. Peppers can be grown easily in containers as well.
Many tomato varieties are self-pollinating, and as a staple of countless dishes, they are a great choice in general for gardeners. Relatively easy to grow in most gardens, they produce colorful and appetizing fruits.
Both pole and bush beans are self-pollinating vegetables. The more common varieties such as lima beans, string beans, and snap beans are easy to tend to and produce substantial yields.
The glossy and appealing eggplant is another self-pollinating vegetable variety. Grow them in well-drained soil and warm temperatures and they will thrive in your garden.
There are self-pollinating cucumber varieties that produce fruit without the help of insects. All they need to thrive is warm weather, good soil and a bit of trellis support.
Herbs that are often used in cooking such as cilantro and basil are both self-pollinating plants. Grow them in your garden to add freshness and flavor to your home cooked meals.
There are numerous types of blueberry that are self-pollinating, and growing more varieties of these healthy and delicious fruits can greatly increase yields. They grow well in acidic soil conditions, and are ideal for a host of culinary creations.
Some Advantages of Self-Pollinating Vegetables
Apart from not needing to rely on external agents and ensuring more reliable pollination and yields, having self-pollinating plants will enable you to manage your garden with more flexibility. This can be especially advantageous in areas with limited or low pollinator populations.
Self-pollinating plants are also ideal for gardens with less space. They are typically easy to manage and grow in smaller gardens, and can be grown individually or close to other plants of the same variety without cross-pollination issues.
That being said, having pollinators in your garden can still be beneficial for overall plant health and biodiversity. In addition to self-pollinating plants, consider also incorporating some flowering plants to attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies to further enhance pollination.