I have 4 little containers that I planted with tomatoes and under the tomatoes basil, cilantro, strawberry spinach. The tomato plants have made some really big, yellow flowers, that I got really excited about, even though I have never seen such big flowers on our plants. In our real veggie garden the tomatoes have set fruit, and I rarely see an open yellow flower 2 days in a row. I don't know if this is because I pay WAY WAY less attention to each individual plant down there, or if something is up with these plants in the containers. The flowers have been on the plant for at least 4 days, and they are big. In the veggie garden I plant mostly cherry or smaller tomatoes because of the sun exposure, in the containers I think I planted one larger variety, I don't totally remember, some were random seeds I had saved without labelling, some were from seed savers, and I think it was a large variety, a hungarian purple which I think is the only one without any flowers as of yet.
So I guess my question is, do I need to try to help pollination, give up hope or just be patient?
Tomatoes often don't even need pollinators, because even the wind shaking the flower can pollinate them. Also four days of a tomato flower being open isn't unusual, even if it was pollinated once the pollen became viable in the blossom; however, if your concerned, just flick the blossoms on the flower stem to give them a jostle without damaging the stem, as that should pollinate the flower. The bigger concern with large flowers on tomatoes is the cat face blossom, which creates the cat face tomato. Its more common in large heirloom tomatoes, and is essentially multiple blossoms conjoined, which leads to conjoined fruits that are unattractive, not as efficient for usage, and sometimes more susceptible to problems with the fruit spoiling. If you look at the stems or blossoms, and they look funky or conjoined in anyway, thats my guess as to what may be occuring. With close inspection and comparison, you'll notice several flowers conjoined in the center on cat face blossoms. Personally I thin all those cat face blossoms off, and let the next normal flower in the truss set fruit.
They sure look catfaced to me, as there are several anomalies which suggest it. For one, any green in the center, before the ovaries swell as developing fruit, suggests conjoined blossoms. The second is the unusually packed centers, where each flower can't open up all the way properly centering itself, therefor looking unusually packed, because its wedged up against the other conjoined flowers. This is also where sometimes green parts of what would normally be the outside of the individual flowers, can be seen packed into the center of the flower, even if they are sometimes hardly visible from being packed amongst the other flower parts.
I took off the super packed one and left the others because they all look like that, so i guess I'm either going to have catfaced tomatoes or no tomatoes at all. I'm just going to hope for the best, thanks for your help!
The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron