Want to enjoy juicy and tasty tomatoes more? Just Tickle Your Tomato Plant Like This for Bumper Harvest.
Tickle Your Tomato Plant Like This for Bumper Harvest? This may sound absurd, but it is actually true. Keep on reading to find out!
Follow Pro Tips on Pruning Tomato Plants for Bumper Harvest here
Tomato Flowering Fundamentals
Tomatoes are self-pollinating vegetables that have the perfect flowers for the task. Each flower contains both the male and female reproductive organs (i.e. the stamen and stigma). This makes pollination easy because each blossom releases pollen from the stamen to land on its own stigma.
Typically, tomato formation is achieved through buzz or wind pollination. Still, numerous studies have determined that buzz pollination is the most effective in terms of fruit size, yield quantities, and increased seed count.
Buzz pollination occurs when certain insects, ones with the right vibes, such as bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.), vibrate their bodies to shake pollen from the anthers, or the parts of the stamens that hold the pollen.
Check out the Best Homemade Fertilizers for Tomatoes here
Do Tomato Plants Pollinate by Themselves?
Self-fertilizing plants, including many edible fruits and vegetables, have self-pollinating flowers. These plants can produce a crop from a single variety, as they have both male and female reproductive organs in their flowers.
Tomatoes, for instance, are self-pollinating, and one tomato plant can yield a fruit crop without the need for another plant.
However, natural conditions may not always be optimal for pollination, as factors such as high temperatures and excessive moisture or humidity can affect pollen movement. In the absence of wind, poor pollination may occur, affecting the plant’s ability to produce fruit.
Tickling tomato plants can increase the chances of a bountiful harvest of juicy and flavorful red tomatoes. Tickling means manually transferring pollen so that each blossom can receive the best opportunity for fruit production.
- To achieve successful pollination, it’s best to hand pollinate tomato plants every three to four days during the hottest part of the day when the sun is at its peak.
- It’s crucial to target every open blossom and repeat the process every couple of days until the plants stop flowering, ensuring that every blossom on the cluster is fertilized.
- Whether you choose to shake the plant like the wind or buzz around like a bee, tickling is a simple and quick task that can greatly increase your tomato yield–a goal every gardener desires!
- You can also use a brush, pencil, or your finger to tickle the flowers.
Simply snap behind the head of the tomato flower to facilitate the release of pollen–collect this in a container or your hand and apply a soft paintbrush over it or just use your finger to transfer it to the stigma of other flowers. You can even keep the pollen in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- If you have an electric toothbrush, you can also use it to tickle behind the flowers. Check out more toothbrush uses in the garden here.
- After pollination, keep a close eye on the plants for the formation of fruits, which will begin to appear after the flowers wilt.
In conclusion, tickling (hand pollination) is a simple yet effective technique that can significantly increase your tomato yield. The process is easy and only takes a few minutes. So go ahead and give your tomato plants the tickle they need for a bumper harvest!