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short term measures to attract pollinators?

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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 10:57 AM
Original message
short term measures to attract pollinators?
i have beautiful, lush tomato plants of several heirloom varieties. only one has any fruit so far. others are just starting to bloom. but these early blooms are just drying up. i assume lack of pollination. could it be something else? we have so few bees this year, fewer than last. :cry:
we had great pollination on our cherry tree, have beans up the wazoo, but tomatoes are making me cry.

so, if it is a pollination problem, is there anything quick i can do? i remember quite a while ago buying a spray that attracted pollinators to tomatoes and peppers. is these still such a product around? is there some sort of flower i can get in a pot that would bring them? i do have flowers around. my elderberries are blooming, and like it say, other things are getting pollinated.

help?!!

and yeah, curse you wretched cold, nasty spring. nothing is up to speed.
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Try shaking them.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. You could probably go get a few cheap 6-packs
of annuals at the local nursery.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. bees
My yard is full of stuff, clover, dandelion, violets in the lawn, roses, flowering shrubs. There are bees everywhere. I don't use any sprays and just an organic fertilizer.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Bees don't pollinate nightshades.
We keep 3 colonies of Honey Bees,
and they are not at all interested in Tomatoes.
IIRC, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers, are mostly pollinated by gravity and the wind.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. use a soft tiny paintbrush and hand pollinate, along with a little shake
a few times a day. :)
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. We have the same problem here,
but it is NOT from a lack of pollinators.
We have 3 healthy colonies of Honey Bees, and they are buzzing around all over the place.
They just don't like tomatoes, or have very little interest.
Tomatoes are mostly pollinated by gravity & the wind.

Our problem (health plants, plenty of blossoms, but very little fruit)
it the HEAT.

Generally, tomatoes stop Setting Fruit when the night time temp is above 75,
and the daytime temp is above 95.

There are some other factors, but the HEAT is probably the reason.

Here in Central Arkansas, we went from a good Spring,
to the Summer Heat Wave starting in May, before the tomatoes had gotten old enough to flower.
We have 22 healthy plants of differing varieties, but very few tomatoes.
We are lucky to have one decent edible tomato per day.

Our San Marzanos seem to be dealing with the HEAT the best.
Even the Heat Resistant Hybrids are not doing that well.

We tried erecting shades last year, but that didn't help
because the problem is not the Sun,
but the ambient temperature.


There ARE other factors that can cause this problem,
but due to the prolonged HEAT WAVE, I suspect that HEAT is your problem.
IIRC, Minneapolis hit 115F last week.

We started some more seeds July 1st with the hopes that the HEAT will break,
and we may be able to get a late crop,
but those odds are long.

I hope that this heat (and last year) is an anomaly,
because if this is the New Normal
we are fucked.
I can't live without our Home Growns. :cry:
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-11 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. try diff varieties next year
My early Stupice have ripe fruit. the others are doing zip.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. i think that is my problem as well.
damned weather. we went from such a cold, wet spring that it killed off a bunch of seedlings directly to 90's and no rain.

fortunately i planted a bunch of varieties (thanks craig) and expect some will give. got 2 varieties that are finally setting fruit. strangely enough, they are novelty varieties, grown for their interesting foliage. but any homegrown tomato is a great tomato.

hope they get going, tho. i have several people whom i have promised overflow from my expected flood. my pharmacist promised to love me forever if i would bring him some. i do think homegrown tomatoes could bring you endless love, but dh would be a little upset.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. My tomato plants all died early on.
The spring was so wet it drowned them out. Finally, when I felt confident, I planted new tomato plants. The second batch has burned up from all the heat.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
8. doh!! tomatoes are self pollinating.
thanks for the link, beac. you learn something old every day, as fred rogers told me.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. I have read that buckwheat attracts "beneficial insects"
I don't know if that means it attracts predators or pollinators.
I planted buckwheat once as a "cover crop" for enriching the soil.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-02-11 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. Plant some squash not too far from your tomatoes next year.
My squash flowers attracted so many bees I can't believe it.

Marigolds also attract bees.
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