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Green tomatoes Sign In/Join 
Picture of Waverider ;)
posted
I was thrilled with my tomato plants, but not any more.... I go out and stare at them daily and they are still Green. I am getting very impatient & I was wondering if it could be because it wasn't very "hot" in August. I have about 26 green tomatoes, and most of them should be turning red, but nope. My neighbor's are green too, don't see any "red". Summer is practically over and I'm really beginning to lose h o p e .....:-[
Except - My Stella's have started blooming 2 weeks ago!! I took pics, gotta post some for once!

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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you're not alone wavie. i have 3 bushes of green tomatoes. a 4th has been producing large cherry size tomatoes. i planted all 4 the end of may hoping for a bit earlier crop. now i'm getting anxious to get the 'mater bushes out and go on to something else. NO MORE TOMATOES NEXT YEAR!!!! i am so done with veggies.
 
Posts: 3816 | Location: Northern CA Zone 10a | Registered: Aug 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My cherry tomatoes just started turning red about a week ago. Just be patient, Wavie...won't be long now. Smile


~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've decided to quit my job, drop out of society, and wear live animals as hats."
 
Posts: 7825 | Location: Black Creek, WI Zone 5 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not a clue why yours haven't been ripening. I'm just across the river and I have had loads of ripe tomatoes...at least the ones I rescue before the squirrels get to them.
 
Posts: 3431 | Location: Staten Island, NY , USA | Registered: Sep 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have had one ripe tomato this year so far. I did not plant mine until the beginning of June. Life just got in the way and I was late getting them in. They are loaded with large green tomatoes.
 
Posts: 15321 | Location: Harford county, MD, zone 6 | Registered: May 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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I don't have a clue either. :Frown: What kind of 'matos are you growing? Last year I had cherry tomatoes and I got a lot of them & loved them. It's hot today & supposed to be warm all week (upper 80's) so the tomatoes have a chance. I feel they are going to stay green & never ripen, and I never heard of this before! At this point I hope they will stay on the stems for another few weeks so maybe I can use the tomatoes in my compost bin (they don't look diseased at all) and it wasn't a TOTAL waste of mine & the tomato plant's time all summer.....I refuse to "choke on a gnat & swallow a camel"!!! (Sweat the small stuff & it's all small stuff!)

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cool over night weather was the reason here for slow ripening, according to the experts. It is stink'in hot (both day and night)now and so they are now ripening quickly.
 
Posts: 9615 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have always heard and found to be true that it takes hot nights for tomatoes to ripen. We had a very long, cool spring so the mater crop came in extra late. If your daytimes are only in the 80's, your nights are sure to be cooler than tomatoes prefer. Don't give up on them, though. They could start coming all in a rush.

Or you can find a rockin' recipe for fried green tomatoes. Wink
 
Posts: 4519 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I planted all "cheaters" this year.. Pretty good sized transplants because I just can't bend and move like I used to.. Put in one Early Girl, one Solar Fire, one Brandywine, one Giant Belgium (which came with a bonus plant and it's a huge yellow orange mater) and two Burpee Supersteak that I started in the house. No fertilizer at all, just a scoop of Miracle Grow good garden soil in the hole. They get full sun all day. If I can figure out where the picture went in this new computer I'll post it. .They are at least 7' tall.
 
Posts: 3431 | Location: Staten Island, NY , USA | Registered: Sep 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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quote:
Originally posted by nettiejay:
If your daytimes are only in the 80's, your nights are sure to be cooler than tomatoes prefer.


I disagree! I was just outside, it's HOT out! Yesterday was very hot too. It's going to be warm all week. Maybe you never heard of NJ Tomatoes, but they're well-known here! We grow tomatoes with no problems here. August has been cooler than normal. (no 90 deg temps since July 20th). Maybe that is the reason. But now that it's in the high 80's it's definitely warm enough for tomatoes! I just noticed my neighbor has one red tomato!
The tomatoes are beautiful and I sure wish they would turn red this week. After Labor Day, it's over for me. I'm ready to start collecting the falling leaves (leaves are falling already!) It's just disappointing because my tomato plants were an unexpected surprise and look lovely.... :^Q
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sure 80° hot. Heck, I'm hot whenever it gets past 72°! What I mean is, that with a daytime of just 80, your nights on average would be high 60s - low 70s. And these more moderate temps will slow ripening. This has been my experience during my 43 seasons of growing tomatoes. Hotter days and nights help ripen fruit faster, although super-hot 100+ days can slow the process substantially.

This is from the Purdue University Extension service. Purdue in Indiana.

" Ripening and color development in tomatoes is governed primarily by two factors: temperature and the presence of a naturally occurring hormone called "ethylene."


The optimum temperature range for ripening mature green tomatoes is 68–77 deg. F. The further temperatures stray from the optimum, the slower the ripening process will be. And, when temperatures are outside the optimum range for extended periods, conditions may become so stressful that the ripening process virtually halts."
 
Posts: 4519 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of still tryin
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If the ambient temperature is above 85 degrees F or the soil temperature is above 80 degrees F the tomatoes won't ripen. If your plant is loaded with tomatoes pick some of the smaller ones because the plant doesn't have the energy to ripen the fruit . Try mulching the plants and water the plants hot roots to speed ripening if the soil is too hot. The plants also don't produce lycopene and carotene, when the temperature is above 85 F. Lycopene and carotene are what make tomatoes develop red tomato color.

As far as ripening green tomatoes the optimum temperature is 68-77 degrees F, so it isn't just the cold temperatures that are preventing ripening it is also heat. If it is too cold the green tomatoes are sensitive to chilling injury. Check out link for Purdue below.

I can grow tomatoes year round where I live. They sell cultivars such as Early Boy that we plant in February when the temps are still cold because it does well in colder weather. The reason I don't plant year round is because of disease that can build in the soil in winter. However in winter I could plant them against a sunny light colored wall and it would produce enough night time heat to ripen the tomatoes.

University of Georgia Extension: My Tomatoes Won't Turn Red
http://www.caes.uga.edu/extens...ents/RedTomatoes.pdf

University of California Cooperative Extension: Ripening Tomato Fruits
http://www.caes.uga.edu/extens...ents/RedTomatoes.pdf

Purdue University Extension: Tomatoes Not Ripening? http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/HO-26.PDF

Cornell Cooperative Extension: Why Aren't My Tomatoes Ripening?
http://cvp.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=91

Purdue University Cooperative Extension: Tomatoes http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext...toesnotripening.html

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Posts: 2653 | Registered: Jan 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Don't give up on Labor Day!! Tomatoes can ripen till the frost comes. Cooler temperatures does not mean no tomatoes, just means slow tomatoes.
 
Posts: 7038 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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quote:
Originally posted by nettiejay ! What I mean is, that with a daytime of just 80, your nights on average would be high 60s - low 70s. An these more moderate temps will slow ripening.
The optimum temperature range for ripening mature green tomatoes is 68–77 deg. F. The further temperatures stray from the optimum, the slower the ripening process will be. And, when temperatures are outside the optimum range for extended periods, conditions may become so stressful that the ripening process virtually halts."


My daytime temps were in the 80's, and the nites 70's.
I'm confused by the next paragraph. It says "optimum temps for ripening tomatoes is 68-77 deg." That's COOL! Didn't you say tomatoes like warm temps and my temps were too cool for them to ripen? Temps in the high 80's are fine for ripening tomatoes. That's the usual temps, if we don't get 90's a few times. Did you say you've been growing tomatoes for 43 yrs.? Omg, Bless your heart. I think this is my 4th or 5th year. I planted them indoors April 1st, and I'm curious why the woman in Staten Island has such a wonderful result, she's a bridge away from me!!! I waited ALL SUMMER for them. After Labor Day summer's over!! (Work starts, school starts & it's getting so dark.....!)
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Listen to metwo, she knows what she is talking about. One year a friend planted at the wrong time in winter but her tomato plants still produced fruit. When the tomatoes had the first hint of red color she brought them inside and they continued to ripen to a red color.

Besides I wrote what the optimum temps were not the must grow and ripen temps. The weather has been crazy where I live in L.A. with abnormally high temps of 105 in March. A co-worker of my DH's who lives in the next neighborhood from us sent home home-grown tomatoes yesterday. Our daytime temps have been in the typical 90's to 100 degrees since the 14th, but the first half of the month it was in the 80's with nighttime lows hovering around 58-62 degrees, which isn't normal here. Yet this guy has been sending home tomatoes to us for months.

In in the hot valleys of Los Angeles home gardeners use shade cloth on poles on the west side of the plants, or plant our tomatoes so they don't receive the afternoon sun during our warm season. Are your tomatoes receiving too much afternoon shade?
 
Posts: 2653 | Registered: Jan 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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Nope, they're in the sun all day (not too HOT here). I have no shade anywhere.
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wavie, don't pull them after Labor Day, let them go for awhile. If the temps start dropping really low, pick all the green ones that are big enough, wrap them in newspapers and put them single layer in a box....I use a beer or soda flat. Then put them where the temps won't change a lot, like mine go in the spare bedroom that we don't heat or cool.
They will ripen slowly. You need to check them every few days to see what is happening. Sometimes we have fresh sliced maters for Thanksgiving or Christmas by doing this. And I know at least one northern gal who always has sliced maters from her garden for Thanksgiving dinner by doing it.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4853 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I let my tomato plants go until they are hit by frost. I want every tomato I can get!! But that is just me.
 
Posts: 15321 | Location: Harford county, MD, zone 6 | Registered: May 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I got so tired of waiting for my tomatoes to ripen that I went and bought one yesterday. I had 11 green tomatoes, but between the cool temps and the tomto horn worms, I now only have two green tomatoes, left.
 
Posts: 3204 | Location: Holly Springs, MS USA | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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I wasn't going to pull them after Labor Day, I was just hoping to keep them for my compost bin once summer is over (if they still refuse to ripen). Karen, are you saying it takes possibly 2 MORE months to ripen?!? By that time the leaves are all over, it's Cold & I don't even want to be reminded about my "loser" tomatoes! Thx everyone for your feedback, it is appreciated!
I don't like putting tomatoes in another room to ripen in my house, afraid of attracting bugs! (centipedes?)

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by owie:
I let my tomato plants go until they are hit by frost. I want every tomato I can get!! But that is just me.


I would guess you've been gardening a long time right?
I'm new to it and I wait all those L-O-N-G, Cold months for spring to arrive so I can start gardening! (This is my 2nd yr. using a raised bed) Do you let them ripen inside? Would they start to ripen within a week or much longer?
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just picked 3 large tomatoes yesterday. They were ripe enough to be eaten in a few days so I brought them in. I have been having trouble with a chipmunk eating my cherry tomatoes. He sits where he can look in my sewing room and eats them right before my very eyes. He is a taunting little de vil. I also got about 10 little cherry tomatoes. I know why he likes them---they are very sweet. I generally pick mine a few days before I think they are ripe enough to eat and let they lay on the kitchen counter. I do not like refrigerated tomatoes. I think they loose their flavor. I have been gardening for more years than I care to say!! I swore this was my last year of tomatoes but they are so good. I can get tomatoes at the farmers place about a mile from me very cheap. Trouble is they do not always have them. I am sure I will be back out there planting them again next year. Maybe I will try "cheater" tomatoes.
 
Posts: 15321 | Location: Harford county, MD, zone 6 | Registered: May 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Did you pay attention to the growing period of the tomatoes you planted? Did you inadvertly plant some that need more time than your growing season permits?
 
Posts: 7038 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I didn't really pay attention because I bought these seeds real cheap last year at the end of the season. I forgot about them, found them, and decided to plant them. I planted them indoors on 4/1, but they had an adjustment period after I planted them outside. It took them a couple of weeks to get strong again. Yes, I thought maybe they need more time now, but I did plant them early enough I thought! I think June to Sept is long enough for a couple of ripe tomatoes. It was rather cool this morning, I wonder if they will ripen at all(?) I will definitely bring some indoors to try the "at home" ripening method. I'm up for the challenge! ;D =D
Last Year I planted Cherry Tomatoes (among others) that I bought in Lowes. I loved them and will plant them NEXT YEAR! I will also plant these seeds again too, (early!) gotta use them up!

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Waverider Wink:
I wasn't going to pull them after Labor Day, I was just hoping to keep them for my compost bin once summer is over (if they still refuse to ripen). Karen, are you saying it takes possibly 2 MORE months to ripen?!? By that time the leaves are all over, it's Cold & I don't even want to be reminded about my "loser" tomatoes! Thx everyone for your feedback, it is appreciated!
I don't like putting tomatoes in another room to ripen in my house, afraid of attracting bugs! (centipedes?)


Wavie, I mean it may take a couple of months for the green ones to ripen AFTER they have been plucked from the plants. Since they are wrapped in newspapers and I store them in a cooler place, it takes them longer but they do eventually get ripe.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4853 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One tomato fell off yesterday when we brushed by it. So I brought it inside and put in a small bowl "to ripen" (like I usually do with tomatoes. I'll still leave them on the the plant, but it IS DISHEARTENING! They're so nice, but G R E E N !!! Do I have to really wrap them up in newspaper, where do you store them? In the garage? The spiders will have a heyday! EEEEWWWW!! Smile Do you close the shoebox or leave it open (if you close it, won't it turn to mold/mush?) Karen, why do you have green tomatoes? What's your excuse, lady?!! (it's warm by you, don't they ripen during summer?) My cherry tomatoes were delicious last yr. I didn't plant seeds, I bought the starter plant in Lowes and it did great (the 3 I bought).

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If I had green tomatoes I'd definitely eat some of them. They are delish dipped in beaten egg and cracker crumbs and fried in butter. There are other recipes also but I've never tried them - green tomato chutney, pickles, relish, salsa, jam, etc.


Lucky

"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow

Inspirational pics: http://inspiration4u.shutterfly.com/
 
Posts: 12736 | Location: north of 50 in Canada zone3b | Registered: Feb 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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With tomatoes, the sun is everything.
Tomatoes can be helped also by pruning them back when they show good growth, but less budding than you had hoped.
Cut them back, reducing the energy sent to the plant, more to the fruiting.

Also, 3 tablespoons Epsom Salts, in a gallon of water...give t the base of the plant, letting ti soak in before emptying the container.
This is an old trick to ripen tomatoes...on the vine.
But....do give them the most sun you can.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For tomatoes to ripen the sun is only needed to provide heat. They ripen due to heat not sunlight.

Wavie, I get either soda or beer flats (cardboard) to put them in. I store them under the guest bed in the guest room. Yes, they can rot if you don't check them often & would be a mushy mess.
We do get cool/cold down here and tomatoes won't set fruit once it gets too cold and we get frosts & freezes.
I pulled all my mater plants awhile back, the horn worms had destroyed them...I couldn't keep up picking them off. And those worms will be hummingbird moths or hawk moths. We also don't get any or many maters when it gets too hot. They just don't produce then.

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"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4853 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Loonie:
Also, 3 tablespoons Epsom Salts, in a gallon of water...give t the base of the plant, letting ti soak in before emptying the container.
This is an old trick to ripen tomatoes...on the vine.
[QUOTE]

I just went out and watered my 'maters with Epsom Salt in the gallon water. I used up my Epsom Salt, will buy some more. I also removed all the new flowering buds on the tomato plants (Like it was recommended to do). This way their energy will be focused on ripening the tomatoes on the vine instead of producing new baby tomatoes.... It is pretty depressing now. The leaves from my neighbor's humongous backyard tree have started blowing on my side all over the place. Fall is coming! This year I plan to rake up all the leaves from her tree myself instead of waiting for her guy to do it for her and then me getting them. This way I get to collect all the nicest ones earlier & examine them too. It is a big job, but I will get at least 5 bags, possibly a lot more if I start early enough (they already have begun to fall) Has anyone else's leaves begun to fall?
I just threw out my compost bin (it was falling apart) which I got for free on "Freecycle" a few yrs. ago and replaced it with a brand new one I bought for $35 in my town!

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tomato ripening tips....

http://www.tomatodirt.com/ripening-tomatoes.html

Epsom salts & tomatoes...

quote:
•Epsom Salts for Tomatoes and Peppers
Tomatoes and peppers may show signs of magnesium deficiency late in the season, when their leaves begin to yellow between the leaf veins and fruit production decreases. Whether you will get more and/or larger fruits will depend on many things besides applying Epsom salts, but using them before the plants start to decline, does seem to have some benefit.

Either mix in 1 tbsp of Epsom salts into the soil at the bottom of the planting hole when setting out transplants or mix the 1 tbsp in a gallon of water and water the seedling.

Follow-up with a foliar spray of 1 tbsp per gallon of water when the plants start to flower and again when the young fruits start to form. Try it on a few plants and see if you can tell the difference as the season goes along.

This is a home gardening remedy and there are as many formulas for application as there are home gardens. Some gardeners only add Epsom salts at planting time. Others like to water or foliar feed with Epsom salts every other week. In this case I’d recommend a more dilute solution, mixing only 1 tsp of salts per gallon of water, because it is not known for sure whether excess salts will build up in the soil or run off into the water supply. And some gardeners simply use the Epsom salts when they remember.


http://gardening.about.com/od/...n1/f/Epsom_Salts.htm

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"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4853 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Loonie and Karen! I just put down the rest of my Epsom Salt (only a little bit left). I had fed my tomatoes and Roses with it earlier in the season twice. I noticed my Roses immediately grew after I did that! Didn't notice any change in tomatoes. I figured at this point what have I got to lose?!
It was 66 deg. this morning but felt so much cooler. Nice breeze with windows open!!! Smile
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ga.karen:
Wavie, don't pull them after Labor Day, let them go for awhile. If the temps start dropping really low, pick all the green ones that are big enough, wrap them in newspapers and put them single layer in a box....I use a beer or soda flat. Then put them where the temps won't change a lot, like mine go in the spare bedroom that we don't heat or cool.
They will ripen slowly. You need to check them every few days to see what is happening. Sometimes we have fresh sliced maters for Thanksgiving or Christmas by doing this. And I know at least one northern gal who always has sliced maters from her garden for Thanksgiving dinner by doing it.


Fantastic!!! How wonderful; I had never heard that. You are indeed a true gardener.
 
Posts: 4910 | Location: zone 7, West Texas | Registered: Feb 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I always wrap my tomatoes in newspaper to ripen. If they happen to go bad before ripening the news paper contains it. I put them on the kitchen counter and they usually ripen within 2 weeks, not always.

I thought I read that Epsom salt helps if your soil has a magnesium deficiency but otherwise is useless. But maybe I remember that wrong.
 
Posts: 7038 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After doing some reading I decided to try and ripen my tomatoes indoors. The tomatoes are beautiful but what a disappointment!!! Next year I will start so early (both indoor and winter sowing!)
I read how to ripen them the easy/lazy way. Just put them either in a bowl or collander or a paper bag and let them ripen. (you don't have to wrap in newspaper) I will try them that way. If they don't ripen within a few weeks I will put them in the compost bin. Thanks for your advice!!! XOXOX

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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JMHO... But the indoor-ripened tomatoes won't have the same texture or flavor as vine-ripened. To me, they seem more like grocery-store ones. The texture is slightly mealy and they aren't as sweet. I suggest you leave at least one or two plants in until frost. I can pick fruit through September into October, if the plants survive that long. Since your plants are so healthy now, there's a good chance you'll soon pick some ripe fruit from those vines. Good luck.

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Posts: 4519 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by nettiejay:
JMHO... But the indoor-ripened tomatoes won't have the same texture or flavor as vine-ripened. To me, they seem more like grocery-store ones.

LOL!!! That's okay, I grew up on "grocery-store" ones and am used to them and like them!!!
Now if only my tomatoes ripened (like they should have) I would have been able to See/Taste the difference.... hint-hint!! Wink

I suggest you leave at least one or two plants in until frost.


What do you mean by leaving one or two plants in until frost. You mean in the ground outside?
Honestly, the longer they remain outside, the worse they are beginning to look. They are getting 'weather beaten'. It was really COOL outside this morning and I was thinking I better bring them in very, very soon.
I want to move my raised garden bed over to where my Pine Tree was (lost it during Hurricane Sandy) and I want to do this in the fall so it will be ready by spring. Therefore, I need to empty the raised bed as soon as it's obvious everything's dead & I can compost it.
Thank you so much everyone for your advice!
Smile XOXOX
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You're debating whether to take the plants out now, right? What I meant is - Leave at least a couple in the ground in the hope of getting some ripe fruit this year. If you've never had your own vine-ripened ones, you will be astounded at the difference in flavor between them and the out-of-season, shipped-in ones from the store. (I'm not talking about grocery store "grape" varieties, which I do find very tasty if I can't get in-season ones for salad and such. I mean the full-size, polyester-texture/no-flavor ones available most of the year at the grocery.)

You should definitely not be worrying about the appearance of the plants this late in the season. Healthy, green plants should be the goal during the time they're producing blossoms in May and June, but it should be expected that tomato plants won't remain gorgeous all season. The fact that you say they're next-to-perfect looking is telling, actually. My plants don't produce prolifically until they start looking rag-tag. At this time of year, they look absolutely horrible, but I'm picking so much fruit each day, I don't know enough people to give it all away to. I once saw an episode of Victory Garden where an expert confirmed my experience... Saying that stressed tomato plants produce better than perfectly healthy and green ones. Whenever a plant is stressed - any kind of plant - it taps into its stored energy to ensure its survival. For example, a tree produces more seeds when its in its period of decline from age or ill health... annual flowers look tattered and go to seed ... and tomato plants ripen their fruit (aka seed) faster at the end the season, when the plant naturally declines.

I don't start my plants from seed. I've never been able to get plants vigorous enough from indoor conditions and artificial light. I prefer buying 5-8" plants with sturdy stems from the nursery and planting them outdoors around the first week of May, if the soil has warmed. If the soil's not warm by then, I wait until Mother's Day week to put them in. If you planted later than that, or if your plants were tiny when you set them out, that could be a large part of why you have no ripe fruit yet.
 
Posts: 4519 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You mean my gorgeous green tomatoes are only 'temporary'? LOL! I didn't know they get uglier as time goes on. They seem to be getting bruised, spots, tiny holes, what have you. I have had vine-ripened tomatoes before. I had cherry tomatoes that did very well. I never really had a tomato plant with prolific "beefy sandwich-type tomatoes" I see in photos! I was thrilled with the cherry tomatoes I got last year. I found this seed packet really cheap so I bought it. I love planting seeds. I have bought seeds ever since I was in Elementary school. They used to sell them in school and I always bought & planted them. No one ever told me they needed lots of sun and light! Frown They never grew in my apt. except the Morning Glories! I still love planting seeds, first garden!
You remind me of my neighbor. She buys and plants her tomatoes first week of May. She has a small plot filled with all kinds of veggies, lettuce, beans, squash, tomatoes, etc. She's very good (like you!). I'm at least having fun. Thank you so much, you sound very experienced and knowledgable. Maybe I will keep one outside. Yes, they were small when I put them outside. About a month behind my neighbors 'mators!!!!
Can I see a Photo of your tomatoes?! Thanks!

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Do you happen to remember what variety of tomato seeds you bought? They might be one that takes longer to reach maturity, and the fact you got a late start on them put you in this predicament. Just thinking ...

I have started seeds many times. Sunflowers, basil, and parsley this year. And then there are the volunteer seeds that come up from snapdragons and pinks. I've started several kinds of perennial seeds. Just never had great luck with tomatoes from seed. I agree... It's a lot of fun to watch something so miraculous develop from that little nubbin you stick in the dirt.

I'm really hoping you'll get at least one tomato off those plants yet this year, Wavie!
 
Posts: 4519 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The tomato seeds I bought are "Large Red Cherry Tomatoes". "A highly productive variety that produces bite-sized fruits". Indeterminate vines. Days to Harvest: 55-60. Does this mean from the time you planted the seeds or from when they begin to flower? I planted them from seeds back in April. To my utter surprise when I went outside I noticed the tomatoes' color looked slightly darker. Maybe they will ripen after all! I don't know but now I'm willing to wait a little longer. It's getting pretty cool out. You were right about everything you said about them - thanks for your expertise!!! Smile

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Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mine are ripening again. I picked 4 large tomatoes today. Guess I have gotten a total of 8 from one bush. I picked about 20 cherry tomatoes today. The chipmunk was kind enough to leave me a few. The tomatoes are really good. Don't remember what kind the large one is. The cherry one is a sweet 100, I think.
 
Posts: 15321 | Location: Harford county, MD, zone 6 | Registered: May 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Update!!! My tomatoes started ripening about 2 weeks ago. I am so glad I didn't have too long to wait. I had several and they were delicious and very 'pretty' as far as tomato slices go! I have about 7 ripening on a plate on the kitchen table and I do hope to grab another 7 or 8 still on the vine, before the skwirls do! (some are small, don't know if they will mature at all) It was a wonderful, fun experience. Thanks ya'll for your advice!
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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