Not sure about where to go with this concept but I will dive in. My compost piles gets pretty hot but not hot enough, apparently, to damage or disrupt the viability of tomatoes seeds. How do I know this? Well, almost every time I spread compost from my pile I see tomato sprouts in a week or so. They get weeded out and life goes on. This season one of these “volunteer” tomato sprouts managed to escape my evil weed pulling eye and was discovered at about 12 inches tall and very robust. Since I tend to be curious I let it go. It is now 6 + feet tall and loaded with small cherry style tomatoes with GREAT flavor. It is absolutely prolific, even as the day time temperatures are up near 90 F! I have never saved tomato seeds but I will be tempted this year.
I have heard that tomato plants respond well to a bit of rough play…slap them around a little and they produce better. I was sure there had to be some science to it so off to the web I went. Even though tomatoes are self pollinating they seem to benefit from some Buzz pollination….honey bees don’t generate enough energy….you need some volunteer big bombers…the Bumble Bees!
Now, after understanding the need to “buzz” pollinate I tried to find some Bumble bees and ask them over every morning and or evening for a while…..I haven’t seem any RSVP’s nor “crashers” of the bumble bee kind so I took matters into my own hands so to speak this morning. I became a surrogate for my tomato blossoms and did my buzzing best to mimic the action. I grabbed my “Sonicare” toothbrush, and no dear – I did not use your brush….. it was mine, put on my yellow and black horizontal striped shirt…..not really, and went out to buzz around. I took my new toy out…Nikon J1 on video mode to capture my impersonating actions….Check out the video. After a little experimenting I was able to determine which blossoms would dispense pollen….a very visible emission! Watch closely….