Hand-Pollinating Your Tomato Plants
Tomato Plants Are Usually Self-Sufficient
One tomato plant is capable of producing a crop, since tomatoes are self-pollinating flowers that are equipped with male and female parts. They are normally wind-pollinated and occasionally by bees, but if not, they could use a little help.
The Best Time to Pollinate Tomato Plants
Pollen is normally shed from morning till afternoon. Midday on warm, sunny days with low humidity is the optimal time for hand-pollination.
Locate Your Tomato Flowers
The first thing you need to do is to locate the pretty yellow flowers. Then find the place right behind the flower by the stem. Be prepared to vibrate this area to distribute the pollen inside the flower. Remember, you must have a gentle hand as to not destroy the flower.
Vibrating the Tomato Flower
Giving the vine a little vibrating with a battery-operated toothbrush is really all you need. Place the electric toothbrush just behind the open flowers and gently shake the plant. The vibration loosens the pollen inside the flower, which causes pollination.
Place the bristles of the toothbrush on the stem of the flowers—not on the flowers themselves—and turn it on. This is how a bumble bee would help. You only need to vibrate the flowers for a few seconds.
Increase your Tomato Crop
Giving Mother Nature a helping hand will substantially increase your crop of tomatoes.