How to Pollinate Hydroponic Tomatoes

Overview

Hydroponic tomatoes are grown in greenhouses, where the climate and culture are controlled and there is no natural wind movement to assist in the pollination process. Tomatoes, unlike many plants, do not depend on bees or other insects for pollination, although bumblebees are used in some greenhouses for pollination. Tomato plants simply need movement or "vibration" to spread pollen from one flower to another, because the male and female flowers are found on each tomato plant. The method of vibrating tomato plants depends on the size of the hydroponic growing operation. For a small operation, the technique is simple.

Step 1

Wait until tomatoes are flowering and some flowers are fully open. This means the female flowers are receptive to pollination.

Step 2

Walk down a row of tomato plants, tapping them gently with a smooth stick until you see the fine pollen dislodge from the male flowers. For more complete pollination, gently thump the area just above the flower cluster to help release more pollen.

Step 3

Repeat step 2 every other day during the growing season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful not to damage or knock off flowers during the pollination process, as this can decrease yields or cause misshapen fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Smooth stick

References

  • Greenhouse Tomato Culture
  • Organic Greenhouse Tomato Production
  • Want to Grow Greenhouse Tomatoes?
Keywords: greenhouse pollination, vibrating plants, tapping flowers

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.