Tips for successfully growing tomatoes in the Airgarden
Do you have plenty of leaves and flowers on your tomato plants, but no fruits coming from them? This issue can be a bit of a head scratcher, but there are a few typical reasons and a couple of tricks you can employ to get your plants fruiting.
Make your own pollination
Tomato plants, like all fruiting plants, need pollination to grow. If bees or other pollinators are around, you can almost guarantee your flowers will set fruit. However, most are self-pollinating, so you don’t actually need our friendly buzzing buddies to grow fruit.
If there aren’t any natural pollinators around, gently shaking your plants every day can achieve the same results. This will help dislodge the pollen to the female stigma in the flower, which causes fruit to grow.
You can also hand-pollinate tomatoes with a paint brush or electric toothbrush! Check out this video.
Get the temperature right
Tomatoes love some heat and direct sunlight, however when temperatures are above 30c and don’t fall below 24c, it can turn pollen sterile. If you’re in a hot part of Australia, provide your tomatoes with some artificial shade (a beach umbrella is a great option).
Choose the right variety for your climate
There are so many varieties of tomatoes to suit your climate and growing conditions. Bunnings has a great guide here.
Get the humidity right
Too much humidity can clog the pollen, which causes it plants to pollinate. Conversely, in dry areas with low humidity, pollen can dry out, become brittle and fall off the stigma all together. To prevent this from happening, mist your tomato plants with a spray bottle every day.
How to prune your tomato plants
These types of tomato plants will grow all season long.
Pruning is done by removing the young side stems, known as suckers, which sprout from the joints of the main stem and the fruit-bearing branches. This concentrates growth where it's most important for plant strength and fruit yield, in theory producing larger, healthier tomatoes.
If you are time poor and would like something more suited to an Airgarden, then choosing a determinate variety is the way to go.
Determinate varieties of tomatoes are usually a shorter bush type that blooms over a shorter time frame. They produce flowers and fruit at the same time. After the tomatoes on these plants ripen they die shortly after.
Although determinate tomatoes only produce one run of fruit, they are very low-maintenance.
If you can achieve all of the above for your tomatoes, you will be well on your way to a bumper crop, however patience is a virtue - stay calm and give your tomato plants some time to shine!