Assisting Natural Wind Pollination of Field Tomatoes with an Air Blower Enhances Yield

in HortScience

Studies were conducted in 1994, 1995, and 1997 to determine the effect of assisting natural wind pollination using an air blower on yield and fruit characteristics of three tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cultivars. Tomato plants and flowers in the air blower–assisted treatment were vigorously vibrated at midday every other day on sunny days for 4 weeks. Plants and flowers in the control treatment were exposed to ambient wind only. Early yield was significantly greater in the treated plants in 2 years, marketable and total yields for all tested cultivars were significantly greater in all years, and yields of culls were significantly lower in 2 years. Fruit weight and diameter and number of seeds per fruit were increased in all years.

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