The Q&A Archives: Tomato Pollination

Question: If you are growing several varieties of tomatoes in the home garden can the tomatoes cross-pollinate and produce a crop, the same year, that is different then normal/expected.

Answer: The answer to your question is no, different fruit will not develop on the same plant if cross-pollination occurs during the first growing season. The changes that may occur will occur if you save seed from tomatoes and plant the seed the following season. The differences you will see in subsequent generations will depend upon whether you're growing hybrid or open-pollinated (old-fashioned variety) tomatoes. Heirloom, or open-pollinated tomatoes, will come true from seed. Hybrid tomatoes may cross-pollinate and lose some of the characteristics from the previous generation. So, if you're saving seed, save only that from open-pollinated varieties, not from hybrids. If the fruit on current plants, those grown from fresh seed, are not developing as expected, there may be some cultural problems with the plants. Hope this answers your question!

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