Pollination is the process in which transferring pollens from male part(anther) of a plant to female part (stigma) of a plant, it enables fertilization and production of seeds must happen by animals and winds.
Most plants are self pollinating like fruits and vegetables, it also refers as self fruitful. If you have a variety of plant it will gives crop from it.
Flowers are have both male and female parts like that tomatoes are self fertilizing plant and produce crop of fruits by its own without planting another one.
How to Pollinate Tomatoes by Hand?
1. Shake them up
To promote pollen shed simply tap or shake the plant is enough to imitate a breeze but it can be done gently and rapidly top of the each flower, flick the flower in short.
2. Art brush
To gather and distribute pollen in a manner a small art brush is an effective tool similar to nectar gathering insects. The brush has natural bristle with that pollen clings better than plastic ones.
To collect and transfer pollen, gently lift the flower and brush the petals back and forth along the top of the pistil stigma.
Use different brushes for different tomato varieties to avoid cross-pollination.Before going to another variety wash your brush in isopropyl alcohol.
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3. Cotton swab
The cotton swab has a fine cotton surface and is an effective and ideal tool for collecting and distributing pollen. Use swab also as like as the art brush.
The pollen can be collected on a small plate and then carefully applied to the tip of the scar with a cotton swab (or brush).
4. Battery operated tooth brush
A new technique is employed i.e., simple battery operated tooth brush is a most effective and fastest method for pollination.
Here the child toothbrush has done the good job for the home gardeners. The vibrating head imitate buzz pollination and cause the male anther of the flower will release the pollen onto the stigma.
Just once keep the vibrating head of the tooth brush on the flower base, and wait for second or two before going to the next blossom.
Also Read: Growing Tomato for Your favorite Cuisines
5. Wire tomato cages
For tomato cages, reduce the need to use wires, ropes, or skeletons to tie stakes or stems. Due to the uneven distribution of the fruits, in some places, the fallen branches are tied to the cages with wires or ropes.
Customize a personalized tomato wire cage and cut the wire to the desired length, from 5 to 6 feet high.
Commercial tomato cages are commonly tapered cylinders of twine, cone-shaped, with the narrow end towards the ground; this arrangement helps the shorter branches of younger flora. Your home made cage may be a directly cylinder that won’t be as handy for tying the lower branches, however as soon as the mid- and top branches are supported the lower ones are commonly lifted nicely off the ground. We’ve had better results outcomes with this sort of cage.
6. Concrete mesh
After many observation with different frameworks for our indeterminate tomato crop, now we adopted the inexpensive system for all our relative veining tomatoes. It will manufactured with 9 gauge wire crafted into 6 inch square. The product gets rust but gives enough support to it and it cannot cut without special tools.
How often should I pollinate by hand?
Hand pollination is easy and quite effective. In afternoon it’s most optimal time to pollinate in warm, sunny days.
If the climatic condition is less than ideal, you can simply disturbed the pollen by shaking the plants.
The different techniques are used for pollination, in which try the best method works for you . few people keep the vibrating device behind the flowers and gently shake or blow the plant to create disturbance, with that release the pollen. In other method they use cotton swab ,in that they collect pollen in a box or container and rub it smoothly at the end of the flower stigma. Hand pollination should be done thrice a week , it gives maximum results.
Also Read: Why Are Bottom of Tomatoes Turning Black?
More ways to pollinate tomatoes in a green house
1. Open doors and windows
Open doors and windows if the conditions allows lets the wind and natural pollinator will help you to get pollination efforts.
2. Play that funky music
In your green house just play a radio with full volume can help pollinate tomatoes. The micro-vibrations will motive to drop the pollen.
3. Blossom set spray
It contains cytokine hormone which promotes cell division. It will help tomato plants to grow in healthy condition as like in green house there are no natural pollinator.
Ensure that its only used when the first blossom starts to open. Attach the leaves until sprayed blossom is dripping. Use this once a week until all the blossom have set fruits.