Tomato Pollination

Q: Last week you talked about how hot, sticky days inhibit tomato pollination. Looking at the weather report, all I see are hot, sticky days ahead! My plants are big and I have blooms – but how can I get them pollinated?

A: It’s true that high temperatures (above 90 degrees) repress tomato pollination. One way to get around this is to shake the pollen loose yourself, rather than waiting for the sultry breezes to accomplish the same thing.

If you have an old electric toothbrush, you can walk down your tomato row and give each cluster of flowers a short buzz. You might also use a hormone spray sold as “Tomato Bloom Spray”. The chemical in the spray is a growth hormone that allows the tomato fruit to develop without being pollinated.

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