Friday, September 24, 2010

How BAD do I want tomatoes???

Every summer I have a bunch of termater plants for fresh juicy tomatoes...yum!
This year, NOT A ONE OF THEM produced tomatoes!  No flowers even!
Some are now dying, having produced NOTHING!
What is up with that?
Have the bees forgotten my garden?  ::feels cursed::

So I go garden forum-hunting for answers, and this is some of what I found.....

"If they are flowering, your trouble is lack of a pollinator. Shake the flowers to try to get them to self pollinate."



"Tomatoes, as well as other members of the Solanaceae require a special kind of pollination to achieve proper fruit set. This form of pollination is known as "buzz pollination". Buzz pollination is accomplished by Bumblebees (Bombus), by gripping the flower with their legs and vibrating their flight muscles, honeybees (Apis) are incapable of doing this. In small gardens, bumblebee populations can be insufficient to properly pollinate tomatoes and related plants. Here's how to buzz pollinate your plants to produce larger fruits........"


"You will need an electric toothbrush with soft bristles. To pollinate the flower, turn on the toothbrush and gently and briefly touch it to the petals or stem of the flower, or flower cluster. Do not touch it to the face of the flower. That's all that is required, simply keep the toothbrush in with your garden tools and spend a few seconds each time you visit the garden, the results will be worth it."


"Never a bad idea to shake the plants to help the flowers self-pollinate. Some people use an electric toothbrush at the base of the bloom. I use a vibrator that I purchased."

A VIBRATOR???  People do that to their tomato plants, fer reals? 
OK, I can picture myself sHaKiNg my plants a bit...but I'll be darned if I can picture myself out there electric tooth-brushing, or vibrating my tomato plants to make baby tomatoes!  I own neither device (manual toothbrush user, and got a husband, what do I need a vibrator for?)...and I seriously doubt any vibrator store will believe me if I say "Pssst!  It's for my tomatoes!  Brown bag it, please!"

Holy COW!  What happened to the good old days of bees, and tomato plants that nature-magically knew how to self-pollinate???

Come to think of it...I haven't heard many crickets lately either! 

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Seems the hot summer we never got in San Diego is arriving late, this weekend.  I'm off to make soap, lots of SOAP!

Have a great weekend!
~Carol









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