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Expert gardener shares surprisingly simple hack to speed up tomato growth: 'I had no idea'

"This is a really handy hack."

"This is a really handy hack."

Photo Credit: TikTok

If your tomato plants are underperforming, don't fret. This TikTok trick can help you get the most out of your harvest.

The scoop

TikToker Kia Jade (@kia_urbangardener) shared a gardening hack for increasing your tomato plant's productivity.

"If you're growing tomatoes or thinking about growing tomatoes, this is your friendly reminder to tap the flowers," she says. "Tomatoes, chilies, and capsicum plants can all be self-pollinated by tapping.

"Yes, the bees can do it too, but this is a really handy hack if you want to speed up the process and increase your yield."

@kia_urbangardener Garden guide & planner link in bio 👩‍🌾✅ #growingtomatoes #tomatoes #gardeningtok #gardentok #growingtomatoesfromseeds #howtogrowtomatoes #growyourownfood #gardeninghack #gardeningtipsforbeginners ♬ Souvenir De Paris - Martin Taylor

How it works

Some plants, including tomatoes, are self-pollinating, meaning they have both the male and female parts required to produce fruit. The pollen from the stamen (male) must reach the pistil and its ovaries (female), and this usually happens on its own. 

In an article from Gardening Know How, Nikki Tilley explains: "While tomato flowers are typically wind pollinated, and occasionally by bees, the lack of air movement or low insect numbers can inhibit the natural pollination process. In these situations, you may need to hand pollinate tomatoes to ensure pollination takes place."

In an ideal environment, tomato plants self-pollinate. However, if the growing conditions aren't optimal — such as a greenhouse lacking wind or pollinators — manual pollination may be beneficial. So, if your tomato plant is struggling to produce fruit, consider the tapping method. Some gardeners even use vibrating toothbrushes to shake the pollen free.

Enjoying homegrown fruits and vegetables is one of the many benefits of gardening. With complete control over the process, homegrown foods often boast higher nutritional values and lower costs and can even taste better than store-bought fruits and veggies. Plus, gardening has a positive impact on your mental and physical health.

Looking for more gardening tips and tricks? Check out our guide on growing your own food.

What everyone's saying

Many in the comments were eager to try the trick themselves.

"Immediately went outside to tap some flowers," one user said.

"I had no idea," another user commented. "Excited to try this year!!"

Another preferred to let nature do its thing, saying, "Been growing tomatoes for decades and always leave pollination to the experts … the bees!"

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