Ellen harvesting some tomatoes

Do You Tickle Your Tomatoes?

Ok, hands up, who knew tomato tickling was a thing?! Ellen Mary takes us through why you should give your tomatoes a little tickle.

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The harvests are abundant at the moment and I absolutely love this time of year. Each time I visit my allotment I am taking home plenty of herbs, salads, potatoes, beetroot, last of the Rhubarb and many, many Gooseberries. I absolutely love them, but harvesting them isn’t for the faint hearted is it? Cut flowers are filling vases on the table and early mornings in the garden can’t be beaten - so good for the soul.

Under the warm sunshine, does the scent of tomato foliage remind you of summer? For some, it’s the perfect greenhouse fragrance, although admittedly I am not too keen, I do still love growing delicious homegrown tomatoes. If you are growing tomatoes, you’ll no doubt be harvesting them from July and enjoying all kinds of tomato recipes but if you are wondering why your crops are minimal - you just may need to give them a little tickle!

Tomatoes are self fertile, meaning they don’t need other plants in order to pollinate although pollinators are still important to help move the pollen from the male part of the tomato flower to the female part which results in the growth of those juicy ripe fruits. If you are growing under cover, it can be helpful to mimic the vibrations made by a bee landing on a flower by simply tapping or ‘tickling’ the flower. It can genuinely help your ultimate harvest so it’s worth a go.

Regular water, a tomato feed if needed and pinching off the side shoots will all go towards a healthy harvest and if you do love the scent of the foliage, it will be all over your hands!

When the weather is hot make sure your greenhouse vents are open and blinds are down, plus open the door as well. This not only helps with the temperature but also allows pollinators in to give you a helping hand.

Ellen Mary

Instagram: @ellenmarygardening

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