Do you have plenty of flowers on your tomato plant, but no fruits coming from them? The sight of those little yellow flowers withering and falling off your plant can be a bit of a head scratcher. But fear not, there are a few reasons and a couple of cool tricks you can employ to turn the odds into your favour!!
No Pollinators? No Worries
I learnt the other day that most tomatoes are self-pollinating, meaning they don’t need our friendly buzzing buddies to grow fruit. However if bees or other pollinators are around, you can almost guarantee your flowers will set fruit. If there aren’t any pollinators around due to various reasons, a bit of wind or gently shaking your plants can achieve the same results. Wind will help dislodge the pollen to the female stigma in the flower where pollination happens.
Some like it Hot - But not too Hot
Most all varieties of 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 are in a hot part of australia, which is pretty much everywhere, make sure you provide some artificial shade (a beach umbrella is a great option over super hot summer days), and also remember to…………
Choose the right variety for your Climate
There are so many varieties of tomatoes to suit your climate and growing restrictions. As we are in Brisbane and are growing in the airgarden, we love a bushy, heat tolerant determinate like the “tiny tom” variety from Mr Fothergills seeds, from bunnings.
Don’t forget about Humidity or Lack Thereof
Too much humidity can clog the pollen, so it’s unable to drop and pollinate. Conversely, in really dry places with low humidity, pollen can literally dry out and become brittle and fall of the stigma all together. Some misting with a spray bottle around the flowers early morning and late afternoon may help here.
Remember, if you can achieve all of the above for your tomato flowers 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!!!