Tomato pollination and isolation

Link to pollinating tomatoes with an electric toothebrush for better yield.


An Interesting question is whether to isolate tomatoes or not; whether to bag or not.

As tomatoes are self pollinating a lot of people don’t bother to isolate. This is fine when saving tomoato seeds for ones personal use but we have a name – “seed savers” and we sell seeds to the public. We need to make every effort to make sure that our seeds have not cross pollinated.
The Seed Savers Exchange provide us with some very useful advice.
They say, “First look at your tomato flowers – do they have exserted stigmas? If they do they are readily cross-pollinated.” (Potato leaf varieties in particular)
But even for tomatoes with inserted stigmas they recommend  10 to 12 feet. quote “the same as for any other highly self-pollinating crops.”
We love to grow lots of different varieties, and  close together if we have a small garden. No problem. Just bag the flowers before they open.
The bumble bees going from flower to flower cannot get at  them……  Cross pollination has to be happening to some extent to thenon-bagged flowers.
Bagging is fun. I have white, purple, red and green bags and they look like little Christmas trees.
An  important thing is to get the bags off  the plant as soon as the flowers drop and you see a tiny green tomato forming. At this stage it needs the space to develop its fruit.
What is your method for isolating tomatoes?

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