Depending on where you live, you might be getting close to peak tomato season this summer. There’s nothing quite like slicing up a fresh, juicy tomato, still warm from the sun and enjoying it with a bit of sea salt, or adding it to your favorite salsa recipe for a refreshing summer treat. But, if your tomato plants are a bit sluggish to produce this year, there’s a trick that could help.
No, it’s not a special kind of fertilizer or anything you sprinkle into the soil.
In fact, you typically find it in your bathroom—an electric toothbrush.
While you probably shouldn’t use the same one you brush your teeth with, using an electric toothbrush can be a great way to “self-pollinate” your tomato plants and get them to produce more fruit.
Tomatoes are unique in that they’re already a self-pollinating plant. They don’t need another plant next to them to do the work, which is why we can enjoy the juicy fruit in abundance during the summer. A gentle breeze can help them pollinate, and so can expert pollinators, like bees.
But, if your tomato plants are sluggish, they could need a gentle push to move the pollination process along. That’s where an electric toothbrush comes into play.
By gently shaking or agitating your tomato plants, you’ll mimic natural air currents and the gentle vibrations of pollinating insects. You can use the toothbrush just about anywhere, from the leaves and stems to the fruit itself.
7AM2M Sonic Electric Toothbrush
Give your tomatoes a gentle brush to produce more fruit!
This process is especially helpful if you live in a humid area or if your garden is in a spot that doesn’t get a lot of wind. Keeping your tomato plants in a greenhouse setting can help to create a more controlled environment, but it essentially robs your plants of some of the natural necessities they need to pollinate—so you’ll have to make up for that with a little bit of shaking and brushing.
If your plants are outside, you can also increase the chances of pollination by inviting bees and butterflies to your garden. They’re some of nature’s best pollinators and will help your plants produce more fruit.
Some of the best ways to attract pollinators include planting colorful flowers like lavender, zinnias, and butterfly bushes. Tomatoes tend to do well with a variety of companion plants, so you really can’t go wrong.
While you might feel a little silly stepping into the garden with an electric toothbrush, think of it as a gentle massage for your tomato plants. The more they’re able to self-pollinate, the more fruit they’ll give you throughout the season.