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Voting Booth: Botany Quiz: Tomatoes need bees to pollinate the flowers

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dave

August 4, 2008
9:50 AM

Post #5365939

There are a total of 492 votes:


True
(132 votes, 26%)
Red dot


False
(360 votes, 73%)
Red dot


Previous Polls
Answer...not exactly true, but not false either! In their native habitat, tomatoes were pollinated by solitary bees; however, tomatoes are self-fertile. They can be pollinated by wind, hand-shaking, or by visiting insects, including bees.

feldon30
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

August 4, 2008
12:34 PM

Post #5366267

I love my electric toothbrush for this purpose!
plantladylin
South Daytona, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 4, 2008
2:04 PM

Post #5366623

I just took a guess and said false even though I have seen many bees on my tomato plants. Just wish the bees could sting whatever bug is eating the fruit! :-)
holmboy
Texas City, TX

August 4, 2008
2:58 PM

Post #5366840

Commercialn growers use everything from Bumble bee colonies to shakers(table).Can be done with a electric tootbrush when the stamin /pistol is exposed!

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

August 4, 2008
3:24 PM

Post #5366963

I usually shake mine now and then or when I think of it. Makes a difference, too.
Jazzpunkin
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 4, 2008
5:12 PM

Post #5367432

Yes I give mine a shake now and then too..
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 4, 2008
9:34 PM

Post #5368415

If they're caged, a thump of the cage is enough.
eyesoftexas
Toadsuck, TX
(Zone 7a)

August 4, 2008
9:37 PM

Post #5368422

I shake mine every couple of days, and rearrange the branches if possible..

"eyes"

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

August 4, 2008
10:09 PM

Post #5368552

Eyes---What do you mean by rearranging the blossoms? Aren't you afraid that you will knock them off?
eyesoftexas
Toadsuck, TX
(Zone 7a)

August 4, 2008
10:56 PM

Post #5368807

Branches, not blossoms...lol...but I have been known to give them a good thump too..

"eyes"
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 4, 2008
11:49 PM

Post #5369112

I don't shake mine and have zero trouble with pollination.
Procrastinator
Havelock
Canada

August 5, 2008
3:16 AM

Post #5369955

I am going to have to shake my mater plants tomorrow. Who knew? Apparently several of you did. LOL


Elaine and Otis
Aunt_A


August 5, 2008
3:48 AM

Post #5370081

I give mine nice gentle pats on the back...and talk to them, too.
staceysmom
(GayLynn) Appleton, WI
(Zone 5a)

August 5, 2008
4:19 AM

Post #5370209

Never heard of shaking maters. Hey, if it helps, I'll shake.
1lolita1
Elgin, IL

August 5, 2008
4:37 AM

Post #5370321

Tomato hornworms morph into hawk moths ( also called sphinx moths, hummingbird moths ), and every year I see them in my tomatos, usually around dusk.
Jazzpunkin
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 5, 2008
6:27 AM

Post #5370554

I started shaking when I started growing Brandywines :)
hopflower
Santa Rosa, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 5, 2008
2:47 PM

Post #5371645

I opted for false only becaues of the many choices to apply pollen; but basically I guess it could be true, as that is the original way to pollinate!
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 5, 2008
2:49 PM

Post #5371652

Well, another reason to handle my plants. :-) Guess I'll do some shaking, too. I figured it was false, that bees were only one of the ways to pollinate.
:-)

victorgardener

victorgardener
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
(Zone 6b)

August 5, 2008
4:57 PM

Post #5372285

My maters prefer high-fives to handshakes...

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

August 5, 2008
11:08 PM

Post #5373818

hahahaha you guys!!!
I just let a few go "wild" and they'll not only self-seed, but I like the taste of them alot more - they're also more naturalized & climatized!
I let 'em grow in a pot, so when it gets cool, I can move 'em indoors!!

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

August 6, 2008
12:00 AM

Post #5374130

Oh--yeah. I rearrange the branches, too, eyes, when they grow outside their wooden cage my DH made for them. Have to get them when they are still bendable.
Aunt_A


August 6, 2008
3:53 AM

Post #5375260

1lolita1,

Here is a link to a great article on DavesGarden about the Hornworms and the moths:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1270/

Enjoy.
grdnkupkake
Eden, Ontario
Canada

August 7, 2008
3:32 PM

Post #5381513

I just assumed that they wer polinated by bees. I grew up on a farm here in Ont. and have gardened all my life. who would have thought I'd learn something new after all these years! LOL . Well, I'm going to go out and give my plants a gentle shake now and then from now on.
cedar18
Lula, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 7, 2008
5:49 PM

Post #5382190

I'm going to have to report you shakers to the SPCtoTomatoes.

Seriously, that is interesting. I too assumed they were pollinated by bees. Live and learn...at DG.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 7, 2008
7:42 PM

Post #5382628

my bees ignore the maters for sweeter flowers- i pinch a bud n just "kiss" the other blooms to set the fruit, tho sometimes we have to pinch the leaves off cept for several (or beat with a handtowel )to wake the plant up, n get the blooms to happening. Same for my Meyers Lemon.
feldon30
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

August 7, 2008
7:44 PM

Post #5382644

Actually if you are trying to save pure seed, the last thing you want is insect pollination. :)
glendalekid
Tuscaloosa, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 8, 2008
1:23 PM

Post #5385759

The question was do the tomatoes NEED bees for pollination, not whether bees could or would pollinate tomatoes. So, my answer is still "no."

Karen
JoyceK
Liverpool
United Kingdom

August 8, 2008
9:25 PM

Post #5387641

To make certain that tomato plants are properly pollinated, I transfer pollen from flower to flower with a small artist's paint brush. It takes time, but gives me the results I want!
HERBIE43
Rutland , MA
(Zone 5b)

August 9, 2008
12:26 PM

Post #5389862

i have never intentionally shaken my plants. usually, whenever i weter them while they are in the house i move them enough to satisfy their need to move.

dorothian
Bad Axe, Mich., FL
(Zone 5a)

August 9, 2008
8:53 PM

Post #5391642

If your maters are outside, you shouldn't need to shake them. Usually there is enough breeze to cause enough movement to distribute pollen if the bees and other pollinators don't do it for you. I only have 2 plants in an Earthbox, but they are loaded with maters and haven't shaken a single branch. LOL The wind does a good job of that.
quiltplant
Missoula, MT
(Zone 6a)

August 10, 2008
1:28 AM

Post #5392484

Also, tomatoes usually won't set fruit til the night time temperature is at least 54 F. At least here in Missoula.
trioadastra
Ellsworth, WI
(Zone 4a)

August 10, 2008
8:54 PM

Post #5396097

Mine actually reseeded themselves this year from fruit I left. I was just thinking though, a few months of tomatoes is never enough, has anyone tried to grow them indoor over winter?
dorothian
Bad Axe, Mich., FL
(Zone 5a)

August 10, 2008
11:39 PM

Post #5396722

You would need grow lights to get tomatoes indoors in the winter. There just isn't enough sun for the plants to grow properly and for the fruit to ripen.
nifty413
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 11, 2008
2:17 AM

Post #5397310

As is the case with corn, bees are superfluous.
(just by chance someone else saw the first X-Files film and wondered why the bees were significant...)

This message was edited Aug 10, 2008 9:19 PM
pontadog
Jacksonville, TX

September 26, 2008
4:24 AM

Post #5600740

Outdoors bees make little difference.

In a greenhouse setting they are helpful.

Movement of the flower cluster by some other means is as good as a bee.

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