Tomato Flower and Evil Squirrels

Delicate tomato flowers always remind me of a crouching spider.

Flowers on a Tomato 'Lemon Boy'
Flowers on a Tomato ‘Lemon Boy’

These flowers belong to a variety called a Lemon Boy. The plant’s tag promises yellow, 7-oz. fruit that is lower in acidity than red tomatoes. I hope they do well.

I read this interesting article about tomato plants failing to produce fruit. I learned that tomato plants self-pollinate, meaning they do not require bugs or any other help. Each flower contains male and female components and the pollen simply falls into the area it needs to be in order for pollination to occur. Bees and wind are not essential to the process, but they do help by shaking the flower and helping the pollen fall. The article explains that when high temperatures occur, along with extreme humidity or dryness, the pollen will not fall, and the flower is not pollinated.

As fascinating as the subject of self-pollinating flowers is, I’ve never dealt with the issue of them failing to produce fruit. My problem is that squirrels will visit our balcony and eat the tomatoes….in the most annoying way possible. They pick a ripe one, take one bite, and drop it. They do this for every tomato that has color. Do they think the next one is going to taste any different from the last?? So now I have no tomatoes and a mess to clean up.

They leave the green ones to ripen. This gives me just enough hope that maybe I’ll actually get to eat one before they notice it’s ready. But no, they know how to crush my dreams and swipe them right out from under me, in what seems like minutes before I was heading outside to pick them.

Actually, I got lucky last year and they weren’t around. I hope this year they don’t notice my plants, knock on wood!

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