Tomato plants isolated from helpful bees or other insects can only self-pollinate when you use a brush or other instrument to manually move the pollen from the male parts of the flowers to the female parts. View a demonstration in this free video on tomato gardening tips.
Hi, I'm Stan DeFreitas, Mr. Green Thumb. How do you self-pollinate tomato plants? You know a lot of people grow tomatoes and they grow them in, let's say, a screened-in area where you don't get good pollination. If you don't get good pollination, well you don't always get good results. Now, tomatoes can kind of pollinate just from a little bit of movement and wind, but in a protected area they may not get that. Usually, I would take kind like a paint by numbers brush, but in this case I'm just going to take a little pair of scissors. And what we basically would do, we need to touch from one part of the flower, the male part, which is on the outer edge to the, to the female part of the flower, usually it's the anther. We have the anthers, the male part, and we are going to put it to the stigma, which is the center part of the flower. We touch from the male part to the beginning of the other part. And we are actually helping to self-pollinate the plant. Now normally, bees and butterflies and other insects do this marvelous job for us. But if you've got your plant in an area where it doesn't get much insect activity, and many people like that 'cause they don't want that big caterpillar getting on there either, they may want to self-pollinate. Remember a little paint-by-numbers brush or a little toothbrush, touch from one flower part to the next; just kind of like the bee does. You don't have to put on the big wings, but you will get pollination. If you get pollination, you should get fruit. For askmrgreenthumb.com, I'm Stan DeFreitas.
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