The Tomatoes Should be Ripe by Now!

Green Tomatoes by Midwest Gardening.JPG

My tomato production started off great this season, then suddenly stopped when the we had extended cold and rainy weather. The early batch have already been harvested and consumed, but once the weather cooperated for setting fruit again this next batch of course is really late.

There are several full sized tomatoes, but they are stuck green and the weather, again, is not ideal for ripening them. It’s just too cool day after day. Lovely for bike rides, but we need 80 degrees at least to get these babies ripe. So, I decided to try and help them along. For me this really is an experiment. My last tomatoes of the season are always at least pink by frost so they will ripen on the counter. Of course ripened on the vine produces much better flavor so hopefully I can make that happen.

Long Tomato Stems by Midwest Gardening.JPG

I took all the steps my fellow gardeners have recommended in the past:

  • Stripped off all the blighted foliage so the plant does not work to repair and can focus on ripening the fruit.

  • Blossoms and tiny fruits will never develop before frost, so I removed them all. Again, that should allow the plant to focus on ripening developed fruits.

  • I normally do not prune tomatoes unless the plant grows out of control. But severe pruning is rumored to “shock” the plant to finish its’ fruit. So I pruned off every long stem that had no fruit.

    • And every time I do that I get an OOPS! Cut one stem with a big fat tomato on it. In theory, leaving a piece of stem on a green tomato that you bring in before frost will help it to ripen properly. So, I left a big piece of stem and hung it on the support. We’ll see what happens with that.

OOPS by Midwest Gardening.JPG

I have heard from gardener friends that you should prune off foliage to expose the tomatoes to sun. But, I do know that the plant needs sun to ripen the tomatoes, the tomato itself does not need the direct sun. As a matter of fact they do best if not directly exposed all day. So I passed on that idea.

I am very anxious for more vine ripened so I will checking daily!

Sharon DwyerComment