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Thread: Pollinating Tomatoes

  1. #1

    Default Pollinating Tomatoes

    I read that tomatoes have to be pollinated by vibration of the main stalk and not the "paintbrush" method. Does anybody have a suggestion of how to accomplish this? My tomatoes have never done very well, although I have a greenhouse. Maybe this is why. I would welcome any suggestions on how to pollinate them.

  2. #2


    Use a electric tooth brush by holding on the stem with the flower on it. Good Luck

  3. #3
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Alaska, Mat valley


    Shake or flick the stalk, this vibrates the blooms & lets the pollen fall from the anther to stigma.
    Any vibration helps. I have a small circulation fan running for a little breeze inside the GH 24/7 all summer.(lots of other benefits from the fan but it helps pollenate too)
    I also gently pull the petals down & over the anther & stigma with thumb & 2 fingers, I think it helps. (pull down gently, gravity pulls the pollen down to the stigma. blooms that are pointing up, are hard to get pollen, that's why I pull down) Be sure if you are growing heirlooms, (open pollenated) with other types of tomatoes & going to save some seeds, to wash your hands so you don't cross pollenate.
    You can tell when they are pollenated, the bright yellow color of the petals gets a duller yellow color & isn't peeled way back & open.
    Some of the fruit size has to do with the nutrients the tomato is getting, I notice the first 2 or 3 tomatoes are larger than the rest on the bloom cluster. Now I pinch my Early girls to 5 or 6 blooms per cluster. Blooms 4 or 5 feet up also develop smaller tomatoes so I pinch them to 3 blooms & hope they have time to get ripe.
    Species of tomato has allot to do with the size.
    In a GH, I also pull the blooms petals & anther off as soon as the tomato forms. It's loose & comes off pretty easy & you can see the hairlike stigma left on the tip of the tomato. With all the moisture inside, mold can develop quick on it, specially later in the growing season.
    If you see lots of seeds in the tomato when eating them, they are getting pollenated.
    Making me hungry for the taste of a vine ripened tomato

  4. #4
    Member garnede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    soon to be back in Alaska


    Put an oscillating fan in your green house. The wind and vibration caused by it is sufficient to pollinate then. Just as important is warm night time temperatures. Look for temps in the 65-75 range for at least half the night.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.


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