The Q&A Archives: Pollinating Tomatoes

Question: My friends and I had a discussion at work. I said that pollination by bees was important to tomato plants to produce fruit; they looked at me like I was crazy. Is pollination required to grow tomatoes? If so, is it done by bees? Karen May Indianapolis, IN

Answer: Although many garden plants do require fertilization by insects, tomatoes are generally self-pollinating. Under normal conditions, the pollen drops from the male flower part to fertilize the female flower part. A gentle breeze aids in pollination; somegrowers actually shake the flowers lightly to encourage good pollination.

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