Have you pollinated your tomatoes today?????

beebizDecember 13, 2005

I originally posted this question in the tomato forum, but decided that some of you folks here might be more appropriate targets! By the way, since I am posting this question here and want to learn as much as possible, don't just limit the question to tomatoes. What about watermelon, canteloupe, cucumber, and others? Here's a copy of my original post:

"First of all, let me say that as far as I know, I've never had and pollination problems with my outside grown tomatoes. I am simply curious and you know that curiosity killed the cat!!

I have done a lot of research about greenhouse grown tomatoes. Understandably, these folks have to have some manual means of pollinating their tomatoes. Some use bees, some use vibrating apparatuses, some use other methods.

I am simply wondering if any of you have tried using any type of vibrating apparatuses or other means (other than nature and the weather) of manually pollinating your tomatoes that are grown outside. If you have or do, what means have you tried and does it seem to make a difference in your tomato quality or the plant's total production?

Again, I've not had any pollination problems that I know of... just curious.

Thanks for your time,


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to reading your responses!


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Kinda slow around here these daze huh Robert. Well I do help my tomatoes along while doing my daily inspection. Since tomatoes are self pollinating I'll take my forefinger and gently tap each blossom cluster in the same manner as one would tap ashes from a cigarette. Or if time is short I'll take a stick and strike the pole, or rattle the cage.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 3:28PM
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I use an artists paint brush . but only when I am crossbreeding . Tomatoes are self pollinators as are beans.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 2:53PM
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I have use a q-tip and that works wonderful.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 9:09AM
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Every year I think I'm going to invest in bumblebees to assist in the pollination of early greenhouse tomatoes but instead I have just purchased a cheaper alternative- a can of Blossom Set spray. I don't know whether it's the handling or the spray that accomplishes the act but the plants set fruit and that is the important issue with me. A can will usually allow me to spray about a 1500 clusters so cost is not an issue. To spray 2-3 clusters on each of 270 plants takes about 20 minutes.I also run circulation fans regularly that move the air around the plants. I also handle plants weekly in a suckering and clipping routine. I'm not about to experiment to determine what will happen if one variable is omitted although I'm pleased the way fruits are forming so far with these routines.

As the outside temperatures warm and I roll up sides for ventilation more insects are venturing into the structure to seek out the flowers. Wild bumblebees seem to be the most notable at covering the plants although I keep wandering about the little critter we always called sweat bees. Because these tiny bees are so abundant I think they are highly underrated as pollinators. Honeybees are highly overrated.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 8:53AM
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I use an electric tooth brush and I find they increase production.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 10:22PM
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