Tickle Your Tomato Plants Like This for Bumper Harvest

Raul Cornelius is a Senior Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA and a BCom, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities. Passionate about writing and photography, he enjoys early mornings with coffee and books, and nature bike rides during weekends.
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Want to enjoy a juicy and tasty harvest? Just Tickle Your Tomato Plant, and it will get laden with fruits in no time!

Tickle Your Tomato Plant
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While this may sound something straight out of some fairy tale, but this actually works! Tickle, and see your tomatoes producing bumper fruits!

Follow Pro Tips on Pruning Tomato Plants for Bumper Harvest 


Tomato Flowering Fundamentals

Tomatoes are mostly self-pollinating and contain 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.

Buzz pollination is the most effective in terms of fruit size, yield quantities, and increased seed count. Certain insects are quite adept at it – as bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and carpenter bees (Xylocopa), vibrate their bodies to shake pollen from the anthers.


Do Tomato Plants Pollinate by Themselves?

Tomato Plants
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Self-fertilizing plants, including many edible fruits and vegetables, have self-pollinating flowers. They 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 plant can yield a fruit crop without the need for another one.

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.


The Trick!

Tickle Your Tomato Plants 2

Tickling your tomato plants increases the chances of a bountiful harvest of juicy and flavorful red tomatoes – but it’s not what you think. Tickling means transferring pollen so each blossom has the best opportunity for producing fruits. Here’s what to do.

  • Hand pollinate your tomato plants every 3-4 days when the sun is at its peak – the hottest part of the day.
  • Target every open bloom and repeat the process until the plants stop flowering.
  • It doesn’t matter if you shake the plant or do something else; tickling is a quick and easy thing that can greatly increase its yield.
  • If you don’t want to use your hands, a toothbrush or even a paintbrush will work. You can also use an electric one. But with care.

Just snap the head of the tomato flower so it releases pollens. Collect them in a container or your hand. Use the brush to pick them up and transfer to the stigma of other flowers.

After pollinating your tomato flowers, keep a close eye on the formation of fruits; this will start just after the flowers wilt.

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