Saturday, November 21, 2009

Meanwhile Down in the Orchard....

Our weather has been warm then chilly and windy..... I am surprised the plants know what to do.( typical for NZ  November I guess )  BUT it is this time again. Kiwifruit flowering and pollination. The bee hives are not in yet but will probably be brought in tonight or tomorrow.  20% of the flowers open is the best time. If we bring them in too early the bees will go fly about and find the Rewarewa trees to gather pollen from instead.
If you enlarge this photo by clicking on it you will see a small insect in the front flower. It too will be pollinating. We have one beehive in the avocado blocks and a beekeeper has hives stock piled across the road SO there are plenty of FREE insects around to begin the pollinating for us.

Buds and open female flowers.
It is difficult to estimate the percentage of flowers open as every vine is different and every block on the orchard just a bit different.The flowers stay viable for about 8 days so we have some leeway.
These are male flowers.( not as white )

A bee gathering pollen from this male flower. Yes the flower looks white when freshly open but will get a apricot hue as it ages. Hopefully this bee  will then fly to a female flower and leave some male pollen on the stigma of the female flower ( to form a fruit ) remember your basic biology here.   If you go back and enlarge the top 2 photos you can see how the female  flowers are different . The female flowers have quite a round carpel in the middle which will develope into a fruit when pollinated.  If you look vey closely you will see the female parts of the flower are quite different from the male .

Ideally we would like the wind to die down, the sun to come out and warm the air, so the bees have easy flying and want to work.  (these photos were taken when I was working yesterday; where I have been everyday this week ) We have lots of fat buds so have the potential for a bumper crop. (I forgot to mention the smell over the last week! Kiwifruit have perfume all their own - quite pleasant - I would know it anywhere ! )
I am not going near them over the weekend but intend to garden and sew some new cushion covers.   How are you spending your weekend?    Enjoyably I hope !

9 comments:

Magia da Inês said...

Olá amiga!
Passei para rever seu cantinho e matar a saudade...
Continua tudo de bom!
Bela postagem!!!
Espero você em:
magiadaines.blogspot.com
Um ótimo fim de semana!
Beijinhos carinhosos.
Itabira - Brasil

Thimbleanna said...

I love your kiwi posts -- it's such an education! I'll be cleaning this weekend -- yuck! ;-)

Jennifer said...

I never knew kiwifruit had such pretty flowers!

Bubble said...

wow that is amazing x

Meggie said...

A lovely hopeful post! I hope you have a fruitful season there.
My 'crops' are all dismal failures. I weep for the plants.

Guðrún said...

Thank you yes enjoyable weekend here, babysitting my little angel.

Laurie said...

Hi Ali
The kiwi look lovely I was surprised at such pretty flowers as you can't normally see them...
just a snippet Eric is home for a week arrived yesterday, all well and good friends...I did the right thing in August I can see clearly now.

Molly said...

Those kiwi flowers are beautiful. It's Sunday night and I've been traveling home.

julieQ said...

I love to see your orchard, we follow your crops through your blog and really enjoy it. Hope you have a super weekend!!