Apr. 29th, 2009

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From the Hollygrove Market & Farm Newsletter

The Tomato Vibrator - If you have a look at the LSU Ag Center website you will find the following: "In the absence of naturally occurring wind in the greenhouse, tomato flowers have to be vibrated by some mechanical means, such as electric vibrators, air blowers or bumblebees, to release the pollen." They actually conducted a study where tomato flower clusters were vigorously vibrated by touching the flower stalk for about two seconds with a Dutch-made electric vibrator and then compared pollination success to pollination by use of a blower. Lo and behold, they concluded that smaller greenhouse tomato growers should use hand-held vibrators to pollinate their crops for maximum yield and fruit size (i.e., a happy tomato plant). I understand the science and the need for best pollination practices in greenhouses - but a plant vibrator? Does anyone really use one without laughing?

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